After an inspiring end to pre-season testing, Marc Marquez took a step back during opening practice for the Qatar MotoGP at the same Losail circuit
The Repsol Honda rider finished the session in eighth place, 0.8s from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, after an electronic modification backfired.
“Today we didn't have the best start of the season, because we had a small problem,” said the double MotoGP champion. “We changed some parameters on the electronics and we expected the effect would be different or very small, but it was really big on the bike, and the feeling was much different.
“So for that reason, I couldn't find the way. I did two laps, stopped, one lap, stopped, then more, because I felt strange on the bike. It was more that the engine was not consistent, and one lap you arrive and the engine brake was good and the acceleration was also good. The other lap, it was completely out. But we will try to fix for tomorrow.”
Marquez did at least get some promising initial feedback from the new Michelin front tyre available for this weekend.
“The soft one I already checked at the test and for me I couldn't finish the race with that one. So I tried the new one, and it looks slightly better. But still we need to confirm this, because I only tried one or two laps and then I stopped, because I had the problems.”
The Spaniard is also confident he will be able to get up to speed quickly in Sunday's race: “I did the best lap time when I go out directly from the box, so warming the tyre is not a big problem.”
Team-mate Dani Pedrosa was seventh fastest.