Marc Marquez heads into his home MotoGP round in Catalunya this weekend aiming to avenge a last-gasp defeat in Mugello, but with one eye on Monday's post-race test.
It was at last year's Catalunya test that Marquez reverted to a 2014 Honda chassis, helping to calm the RCV under braking, (temporarily) halt a run of DNFs and score 90 out of a possible 100 points in the next four events.
The Spaniard returns to Catalunya again in need of technical progress, having struggling with a lack of acceleration - due to instability and wheelies - so far this season, contributing to a frustrating 0.019s defeat at the hands of Jorge Lorenzo in Italy.
“There's nothing like racing at home in front of your crowd and your fan club to make you feel good and give you extra motivation, even if in the end you must try and be as professional as always and to completely focus on the job at hand,” said Marquez, who won his home round in 2014, but fell on lap 3 last year after a lurid braking moment.
“We'll see how it goes there, and as always we'll work hard on the bike set-up in order to make the most of what we have, an approach that has worked well enough so far.
“I know that Honda is working at 100% and at Montmeló we'll give our best to get another good result. Then at the Monday post-race test we'll see if we're able to find that half-a-tenth that could help us a lot, as we were able to do last year on the same occasion.”
Although he claimed to have no direct knowledge of what might be available on Monday, Marquez has previously stated
: "I didn't speak with Honda, but I expect something [at the test]. We know that they are working hard to try to improve the acceleration. Especially the wheelie because the power is there, but we cannot use."
A winner of two races so far this season, Marquez is currently just ten points from title leader Lorenzo (Yamaha).
While Marquez is yet to re-sign for Repsol Honda, it wouldn't be a surprise if an announcement is made this weekend. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa is already officially confirmed as staying, and will be looking to continue an enviable record in his home race.
Pedrosa has been victorious in all classes, winning the 125cc race in 2003, the 250cc GP in 2005 and the MotoGP race in 2008. He has earned six additional podiums in the MotoGP class, including each of the last five years.
“I'm looking forward to racing at home in Catalunya, at a track I love and where I've had some very good results in the past," Pedrosa said. "Last year I took my first podium of the season there, and it was the first race where I really felt I was coming back after the surgery to my arms. I hope to be able to do well again in front of my fan club and my entire home crowd.
“We'll work on the bike setup, using what we learned at the last race to see if we can get something extra, trying to keep the momentum from Mugello, which was my best GP so far this season in terms of feeling on the bike during the race. Then we'll see if we can take a further step forward in the post-race test on Monday.”
Opening practice takes place on Friday morning.