On the eve of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, Marc Marquez had emphasised the importance of Monday's test.
“We are looking forward to this weekend and especially the Monday test. Maybe there, like last year, we can do another step. It's a really important test, I think for everybody, but especially for us because what you try here normally you will have for the rest of the season.”
Unfortunately for the Repsol Honda rider, who has defied handling issues with the RC213V to win two races and retook the world championship lead with a runner-up finish on Sunday, there was to be no post-race breakthrough.
HRC provided new electronic settings, to improve power delivery on corner exits, a new chassis and a new exhaust for Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa to test.
But the overall verdict was lukewarm at best.
“We tried many things, but honestly, I expected a little bit more from this test,” Marquez said.
“We did many laps, we tried both chassis, the current one and the new one. The new one had some positive points, but overall was a little bit worse. But for the future we will try to use these positive points, because I think we can adapt it to our current chassis.
“With the new chassis I did only two runs, and then I worked only on one bike.”
The only highlight seemed to be an improvement in the electronics.
“We worked on the electronics, especially because yesterday at the end of the race, I had a lot of problems with the system. I didn't understand what was going on. We found something and it was much, much better, especially on the exit of the corners.
“So in that point I was very happy, because yesterday I was a little bit worried because I didn't understand. And now we know why.
“But the rest, honestly I finished with the same bike as yesterday. Normally, you finish with the best bike [parts]. So we don't improve a lot.”
Asked if there was a big difference with the new exhaust, Marquez replied: “Yes, big difference, but not better.”
Marquez, who has raced with a 2014 Honda chassis since last year's Catalunya test, was eighth fastest on Monday (+1.066s) and Pedrosa tenth (+1.416s).
The double world champion will take a 10 point lead over Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and 22-point advantage over Sunday's winner Valentino Rossi into Assen at the end of this month.
the Yamaha riders also had a new chassis to try on Monday
and, after a positive first impression, will decide on Tuesday (during a private test) if they want to use it at Assen.
By Peter McLaren