Mar­quez off race pace at test

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Rep­sol Honda men Marc Mar­quez and Dani Pe­drosa might have made a con­sid­er­able jump up the time sheets on the fi­nal day of test­ing at Sepang, fin­ish­ing third and fifth over­all, but the is­sues with Honda’s new and up­dated en­gine con­tin­ued for the fac­tory squad.

Masked by the fast times set by won­der kid Mar­quez and Sepang spe­cial­ist Pe­drosa, the pair are still a long way off de­cid­ing what spec­i­fi­ca­tion of their new ‘big bang’ en­gine they’ll use. And even cham­pion Mar­quez ad­mit­ted the sit­u­a­tion was far from ideal.

He said: “One of the things we tried on the fi­nal day is a step for­ward. We need to work on elec­tron­ics and on some other big prob­lems that we have in other ar­eas. It’ll be im­por­tant to fix those big prob­lems in Aus­tralia, and then work on the smaller ones cir­cuit-by-cir­cuit and try to un­der­stand them.”

Run­ning a new spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the en­gine first tried – and liked – by not only Mar­quez and Pe­drosa but also Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller at the end of 2016, the more pow­er­ful en­gine ap­pears to now be cre­at­ing many of the same is­sues on cor­ner exit and ac­cel­er­a­tion as it did in 2015 and 2016.

De­spite the up­hill bat­tle ahead, the Spa­niard says that he’s less wor­ried than he was 12 months ago; be­fore he went on to win the ti­tle!

“We are closer than last year and we know where the prob­lems are. It’s about torque de­liv­ery, how to man­age the exit of the cor­ners, the power de­liv­ery dur­ing wheel­ies. We made a big im­prove­ment at Sepang though and were able to point out the big­gest is­sues – now Ja­pan have a lot of work to do.”

Cor­ner exit is still an is­sue for Honda

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