2 February 2016
Sepang MotoGP Test: Marquez: We must confirm everything tomorrow
Despite lowering his lap time considerably, Marc Marquez feels that HRC is still a long way from fully utilising '16 electronics.
Although we moved into the second day of MotoGP testing at Sepang, Marc Marquez's complaints were much the same as on the first as HRC's progress with Magneti Marelli's electronics continues to stutter at a frustrating pace.
Marquez managed to knock a full 1.4 seconds off his best time from day one on just his fourth lap on Tuesday but later admitted that he and his engineers are “still far” from working through the myriad of electronics complications.
Focussing solely on the new 'evo' spec 2016 engine that Honda has brought to Sepang on day two, Marquez was once again unable to draw any meaningful conclusions, such were the electronics issues, saying “tomorrow we still must confirm everything.”
“This thing is that with the electronics we are still far,” replied the four-time world champion when asked if Honda's new engine was an improvement on the first '16 model he tested at the close of 2015.
“Today we just decide one engine to work on the electronics. Like this we have both bikes the same and we can try many things. I think tomorrow we still must confirm everything.”
Marquez, who ended the day fourth fastest courtesy of a lap on Michelin's soft compound but a worrying 0.4s off Lorenzo's time on the hard, identified corner exit as particularly problematic. “As soon as I touch the gas until the next braking point is where we have the most problems,” he said.
The problems don't end with the RC213V's traction control. The electronics are even dampening the effectiveness of HRC's seamless gearbox.
“It looks like last year the gear change was a little bit smoother,” continued the Catalan. “We are working on this because on the straight we are not losing time. But in some corners last year it was a little bit smoother.”
The Catalan confirmed that he had continued with the chassis he used from Assen onwards in 2015 – his model from the year before – on day one but sampled another frame on Tuesday, before revealing that he wasn't concerned by Loris Baz's terrifying tyre failure.
“Ok, with the first time, yes. Later I heard from the Michelin guys that they were not on the correct pressure of tyre. For that reason there comes some blisters and then the explosion of the tyre.
“Of course, it's not nice to see this. I'm not worried because at the moment the tyres are working really good. Here, the test riders have done many laps, everybody did many laps and it never happened. Only this time when they say that the pressure was not the correct one.”
Times and rider feedback suggest Honda is already playing catch-up against Yamaha and Ducati, factories whose bikes have adapted to the new electronics much sooner.
Still, with seven more days of testing before the start of the season in Qatar, the Catalan is taking heart from the fact he still “has time.”
“We don't know because it looks like Ducati and Yamaha it's working the same for them. For us at the moment we didn't fix it well. We are only on the second day of testing so we have time.
“Of course we would like to start the preseason where everything works well from the beginning but it's not like this. We must go, keep pushing and work hard.”
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