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Honda starts Misano test, 2016 tomorrow

"...We will also test the 2016 prototype HRC have brought here" - Marc Marquez.
MotoGP champion Marc Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa will try an early version of the 2016 Honda RC213V on Thursday.

While most riders are beginning their summer break the factory Honda, Ducati and Suzuki teams - plus Pramac Ducati's Danilo Petrucci - are taking part in a private test at Misano before heading for their holidays.

Marquez and Pedrosa, first and second in Sunday's German race, concentrated on improving this year's RCV at the resurfaced Italian circuit on Wednesday.

Marquez set a best lap time of 1m 32.31s and Pedrosa 1m 32.76s, meaning both were comfortably under the official race (1m 33.906s) and pole (1m 32.915s) lap records.

"Today was a positive day,” said Marquez, who rode for 84 laps. “We have been working to adapt the setting to the new tarmac, that is very good by the way, and also on checking some different things for the riding position on the bike.

“In the afternoon we focused more on the setup of the bike as this is a good circuit to work on the issue we have of sliding with the rear entering some corner.

"We found something good but tomorrow we have to continue working on this area as I'm still not 100% happy. We will also test the 2016 prototype HRC have brought here."

Pedrosa was also impressed with the new asphalt, saying after his 63 laps: “The new surface is very good and much fewer bumps than before and I am happy with it - they have done a good job.

“It is very positive to have few days testing in this part of the season, trying to find a 'base setup' that can work everywhere as due to my injury that forced me to stop for 3 GPs, we still have some work to do comparing with a normal season.

“When we are here for the race the temperature won't be so high and for sure the lap times will be better. I'm happy with the work done today and looking forward to check the new prototype tomorrow!"

Significantly, reports that while the 2016 prototype has a 'completely new' chassis, it is currently fitted with this year's engine - meaning it would be eligible to race this season. MotoGP development freeze rules require that Honda use the same engine design for all 18 races.

The Misano bike is likely to be very much a first step towards the 2016 version of the RCV, given that next year's machine will run Michelin rather than Bridgestone tyres and use the new single ECU system.

Indeed, the fact that Marquez and Pedrosa will test the 2016 bike on Bridgestone tyres adds to the impression that the new chassis could be used this year.

Repsol Honda is spending Wednesday and Thursday at Misano on Bridgestone tyres, before switching to Michelin tyre development on the final day (Friday). Test rider Hiroshi Aoyama gave the '16 Honda a shakedown on Wednesday.

Reigning double champion Marquez has won just two out of the nine races this season, compared with the opening ten rounds of last year. Marquez switched back to his 2014 chassis for the past two rounds, in search of less erratic rear-end slides under hard braking.

Marquez is currently fourth in the world championship, 65 points from Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, with Pedrosa seventh after missing three rounds due to arm pump surgery.

This year's Misano round will be held on September 11-13.

Tagged as: Honda , Dani Pedrosa , Marquez

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Marquez testing at Misano (pic: Honda)
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