Marc Marquez chose to temper any exuberance at finishing the second day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island in a heartening second place and acknowledged the circuit layout masks the Hondas current weak points.
The recently-turned 23-year old felt that he was working from a solid electronics base for the first time this off-season, after feeling “completely lost” in Malaysia, something that reflected in his times.
Marquez was rarely outside the top three on Thursday around Phillip Island, a track where the numerous high-speed corners rarely require drive-ability in the lower gears; Honda's current weakness.
“I know that the level is there and that we are working hard,” said Marquez, whose faster time was 0.3s quicker than the next best placed Honda. “We did a big step with the electronics. I mean, now we have a base that we can start to work [from] because in Malaysia we are completely lost. Honda did a good job but still we must work hard.
“The thing is this circuit is special. When I say that, I mean we must take care because here there are third, fourth gear corners, high speed.
“With the engine here it looks OK but it's what I say. We have the problems in the tight corners [which need] big acceleration like Malaysia, last turn, or turn 14. Here we don't have those corners.”
Marquez arguably produced the finest performance of his grand prix career on his last visit to Phillip Island to snatch victory away from Jorge Lorenzo in a thrilling last lap encounter.
Because of this the Catalan is aware that his show of speed around the 2.6 mile stretch isn't a sign that shows the technical woes of Malaysia are behind him.
“Last year we didn't have problems at this circuit and we must take care in all these things because maybe we will arrive in Qatar and what we are trying here will not work. You can see in the results there are many riders in front, tight lap times and we must to understand well.”
Ahead of Friday, Marquez is aiming to work on chassis improvements while further honing his set-up around Michelin's tyres.
“At the moment maybe the biggest problem is the balance of the chassis set-up. Still with the Michelins they change a lot compared to the Bridgestone. We are trying to adjust this.
“With Michelin tyres we have more grip, it's more difficult to slide. With Bridgestone tyres was easier for me in these two corners to find the best line. I think with the balance of the bike we can improve and we can adjust this.”