MAR­QUEZ WORK­ING HARD TO FIX HONDA

Motogp champ com­pletes over 270 laps in bid to get new spec en­gine spot on

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MOTOGP REPORTER IN PHILLIP IS­LAND si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

De­spite run­ning at the front of the three-day Phillip Is­land test and fin­ish­ing sec­ond over­all, Marc Mar­quez has ad­mit­ted that there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Mar­quez and his fel­low Honda rid­ers have been dis­ap­pointed so far with the lat­est it­er­a­tion of the RC213V’S en­gine, with the switch from screamer to big bang fir­ing or­der con­fig­u­ra­tion fail­ing to bring the in­creased ride­abil­ity and ac­cel­er­a­tion and de­creased ag­gres­sion that they’ve craved.

And de­spite an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at the test to fin­ish sec­ond to Mav­er­ick Viñales – and to end the test with a num­ber of very im­pres­sive race sim­u­la­tions, the reign­ing Motogp cham­pion says that they can’t get ahead of them­selves just yet.

“We found a small road, a small way. Ev­ery day I was say­ing the same thing, that we were miss­ing some­thing on the elec­tron­ics and the en­gine. But on the fi­nal day, es­pe­cially in the af­ter­noon, we im­proved quite a lot. In the morn­ing we did quite a big change and we spent a lot of time try­ing big things. But then in the af­ter­noon we con­cen­trated more on our base.

“We worked on th­ese prob­lems and im­me­di­ately in ev­ery exit the lap time was com­ing bet­ter be­cause

I was feel­ing bet­ter on the bike.

“It looks like they start to un­der­stand what I want with this en­gine. Still it’s not what I want but it’s get­ting bet­ter. HRC is work­ing re­ally hard. They are try­ing to fix the prob­lems that I feel.”

But while he was able to find his pace at the end of the three days, one con­cern that re­mains in the Spa­niard’s mind is their dif­fi­culty in es­tab­lish­ing a true base set­ting.

Hav­ing com­pleted over 270 laps dur­ing the three days, Mar­quez said: “We spent more than 100 laps per day work­ing on this. We spent a lot of time, but I think it’s nor­mal with a new en­gine. We must un­der­stand it. But it’s im­por­tant to ar­rive in Qatar with a good base be­cause dur­ing the race week­end we can­not do 100 laps per day. Since the first day of the pre­sea­son un­til now we’ve im­proved a lot. We still have three days test­ing in Qatar and we will try to im­prove even more. Then we’ll know from the first race if the en­gine is close.”

‘It looks like they start to un­der­stand what I want with this en­gine’

MARC MAR­QUEZ

Mar­quez’s re­quested en­gine im­prove­ments from HRC are now start­ing to ap­pear

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