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Marquez fastest on 2014 Honda, 'standard' ECU
17 September 2013
Rookie MotoGP title leader Marc Marquez set the pace during Monday's official test at Misano, while using next year's RC213V fitted with the Magneti Marelli 'standard' ECU hardware.
The standard ECU is the main technical change for MotoGP next season, along with a resulting reduction in race fuel for factory bikes.
While privateer entries must use the full standard ECU in 2014 - software and hardware - factories will be allowed to continue with their own software inside the new 'standard' Magneti Marelli hardware.
The main penalties for doing so are four-litres less race fuel than the privateer bikes (one-litre less than present), plus five instead of twelve engines changes per season (the same as 2013). But if Marquez's Monday pace is anything to go by, the factories have little to fear.
The 20-year-old, who had a small crash in turn twelve whilst trying a new geometry on his current bike, set the fastest time of the day on the new 2014 machine, on lap 70 of 71. That moved Marquez above Sunday's race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) by 0.238s with a lap time just three tenths off his new record pole time of 1m 32.915s.
“The day went well and we tried out a lot of things with the setup - above all the geometry - and we made considerable improvements. We've also gathered some useful data, so this test has been very useful ahead of the five remaining races,” said Marquez, who holds a 34-point championship lead over Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
“We also rode next year's prototype, which I feel fairly comfortable with already. We've worked well and the important thing is that we have a good foundation"
Marquez and team-mate Pedrosa first sampled a 2014 Honda prototype in June's Aragon test, but this was the first time that the latest version had been ridden - rain preventing Casey Stoner from doing so at his most recent Motegi test.
Pedrosa, third in Sunday's race, was sixth quickest at the test and 0.628s behind Marquez's best. Pedrosa made clear his focus was on the 2013 machine, after suffering cornering grip issues in recent rounds.
Pedrosa, like Marquez, tested a new swing arm and 'some other small parts' for the current RC213V machine, while HRC engineers will now return to Japan to complete the final stages of the 2014 project in time for the Valencia test.
“We've tried out a lot of things today, with a view to solving the rear grip issue that we've been having,” said Pedrosa.
“Generally speaking, that was the focus for today and some things we experimented with worked well - and others not so well.
“As for the new bike, I only put in three or four laps with it and we still need to make various changes for the next time we ride with it, after Valencia [the season finale].
“Making adjustments to the new machine wasn't our main objective today.”
Aragon, round 14 of 18, takes place at the end of this month.
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