Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez made some gains with the handling of his RCV213 in Qatar on Thursday, but the Spaniard admits he is still losing out badly on corner exit speed.
The two-time MotoGP world champion was ninth fastest on day two of testing at the Losail International Circuit, lapping in 1m 56.046s to finish six tenths of the pace of Suzuki's Maverick Vinales.
Marquez, who almost improved his lap time by half a second from Wednesday despite an early fall, now intends to focus on improving rear grip on corner exit on the final day of the test, which he says is crucial to setting a faster lap time.
“We made a step compared to yesterday and the bike is turning better and we tried to concentrate a lot on the chassis side, on the geometry and everything,” said Marquez, who came off at Turn 1 on his first run.
“We did a good step there, then we tried to concentrate more on the rear grip because here, yesterday, we didn't find anything good and we are working on that.
“Now, in the corner on turning, I start to feel confidence, but we are losing a lot on the exit. At the moment it is difficult to find the rear grip and to manage this, and in motorbikes the lap time is in the exit of the corner because then you can keep the speed during all of the straight. We are working there because we are losing a lot.”
Marquez didn't try the harder option Michelin front tyre and says he prefers the improved stability under braking offered by the '34.
“I didn't try the hard [front] and I ride today all day with the '34 front, which looks like it is harder than the '36. I like it with the '34, which is less comfortable, but more stable so for me it is not so bad,” he said.
“At the moment I didn't try [different suspension parts], just today I concentrated a lot on the front side of the bike on the geometry and the weight balance. Tomorrow maybe we will check where we can improve on the exit of the corner.”
The Spaniard also tested winglets on the front of his Honda, but said there was only a 'small difference' with them fitted.
“I tried them on the last run, only four laps, and the track was also a little bit more slippery because the humidity was becoming high,” Marquez said.
“I feel a small effect, a small difference, but like you see, the wings are really small, so it is more difficult to feel, but there are some positives.
“Tomorrow we must try to make some laps to understand better.”
Tomorrow will be the last chance for testing before the season-opening race at Losail from March 17-20.