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Marquez still searching for ‘correct engine balance’

Marc Marquez spends all of Thursday on the 2016 Honda engine with new electronics, feels new engine is too aggressive in lower rev range.
Marc Marquez was able to assess Honda's 2016 engine after his fourth day of winter testing and stated that, although different in character to the one he raced in 2015, its power delivery is too aggressive.

With Honda switching to Magneti Marelli electronics for the first time in 2016, an overall package very much in its infancy meant neither Marquez nor team-mate Dani Pedrosa were able to fully understand the engine's characteristics.

Yet by Thursday evening Marquez explained how he had encountered similar problems to his first day of testing at Jerez with the electronics and Michelin tyres.

What's more, the 22-year old found the engine to have too much power in the bottom end, with the torque delivery proving to be problematic and too aggressive in its nature.

“Today I ride all day with the Magneti Marelli,” started the double MotoGP champion. “I didn't try again the Honda software, I just concentrated on Magneti Marelli. I tried both engines, but I really concentrated all day with the new engine. Because I think, already, working on the new electronics is slow, takes a lot of time, and I see that with the 2015 engine, and the 2016 engine, we need a completely different map.

“It's a different character of engine. So we just concentrate on the new one, then maybe tomorrow we will try again the old one, but we will see, we must check well now. But still, with one engine or the other one, we are far from the best level of Magneti Marelli, I think.

“It's different,” he explained. “Last year's engine was aggressive in the top. Now we have more power in the bottom, but still we don't understand the way to deliver this torque. It looks like aggressive in the bottom, but then smoother in the top compared with last year, but the thing is that we can reduce, no? So we must work, because if we reduce too much, then we get aggressive in the top, so we must check to find the correct balance.”

On Wednesday, Marquez mentioned he had several scary moments with Michelin's front tyre in faster corners. Having seen fast falls for Michele Pirro and Eugene Laverty, along with his lack of confidence in the front, the Catalan was cautious in the several sweeping bends that punctuate the Jerez track.

“We are struggling. One thing is the front tire, which is still difficult to understand, but Michelin is working there, and I think this will improve. But we know that with the electronics, this is what we have, so we must work with these electronics.

“At the moment, with the tire is new, you can adjust, but the torque is quite aggressive in acceleration, the wheelie is coming too much, some laps more and some laps less, so not consistent but we are working there to try to be more consistent in the exit of the corner with the gas, and this will be much better for the acceleration.

“[I had] A lot [of near crashes] In the moment that you find the limit. Today it was a little bit better, because we worked with the set up, so it was better, but still a few crashes again today, Pirro, Laverty in the fast corners.

“So it's there that we are a little bit careful, because in the slow corners, always you try to push a little bit more, because you are 60kph, 80kph, if you crash, it's slow. But in the fast corners, always you take care, but sometimes you lose the front and you don't know why.”

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