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MotoGP Valencia: Marquez prepared to keep current chassis in 2017

"At the moment the chassis is not our priority so we will keep the same one. We are not trying to make a completely new bike" - Marc Marquez.
Marc Marquez expects to keep his current RC213V chassis next season, as he and HRC adopt a step-by-step approach to technical developments.

The Spaniard switched back to a 2014 frame midway through last season and is yet to find a better design.

Now comfortable with corner entry, the engine - and especially wheelie reduction - is Honda's top priority for next season, meaning Marquez is in no rush to change the chassis.

"At the moment we are trying to work step-by-step," Marquez said at Valencia on Friday. "We are not trying to make a completely new bike because sometimes we can misunderstand things.

"At the moment, the plan is to try to keep the same base, like this year. Then try one thing and maybe try another. But at the moment the chassis is not our priority so we will keep the same one.

"I feel good on corner entry. Corner entry last year was a problem at the beginning of the season. We changed the chassis [back to 2014] and everything got better, so corner entry is not the main priority. The main priority is the exit of the corner."

The reigning triple world champion confirmed: "At the moment we are working on the engine [for 2017] because we still need more power, to try to avoid this difference we have on the straight and in acceleration.

"But for acceleration, okay we must improve the engine, but we must also improve the balance of the bike because the wheelie is one of the problems that we have. Already from 2014 – okay, it was one of the best years for us - but in '14-'15 we were losing on acceleration because of the wheelie, not the power. So we must improve this."

Marquez explained that he feels the RCV has adequate raw power available, but the wheelie issue means they are forced to cut the output.

"The engine power is there, but the problem is that in some accelerations we reduce the power a lot because of the wheelie problem. Electronics can help the wheelie problem, but in the end the electronics just reduce the power.

"So for me it is more about the balance of the bike, or something we are missing there, that means we are losing out in acceleration. But we are losing because of the wheelie, not because we don't have enough power."

Marquez was speaking after finishing the opening day of the Valencia season finale in second place on the timesheets, 0.247s behind the Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo.

Friday also saw Michelin make a revised 2017-spec front tyre available for the first time at a grand prix, but Marquez felt there was little difference.

"Today I tried the new Michelin tyre. No big difference. I think every rider commented it was not a very clear [difference]. I need to compare again tomorrow because I don't know exactly, honestly," he said.

Michelin has already made significant gains with their front tyres since its official debut one year ago, but Marquez doesn't expect to return to the kind of extreme corner entry possible with Bridgestone.

"About going into the corner with only the front wheel [on the ground]; Michelin tyres are different," he said. "You must change a little bit your riding style. Already in Japan in some corners I was able to do this, but with Bridgestone it was another way to ride the bike. With Michelin if you want to find the time, you need to find in another way."

While Marquez wrapped up his third riders' title back in Japan, the 2016 teams' and manufacturers' world championships will be decided on Sunday. Honda has a safe 21-point lead in the manufacturers' battle, but trails Movistar Yamaha by 10 points in the teams' standings.

"For the manufacturers' we are in a good place. For the teams' it is more difficult. I know in the last two races I lose some points, but it is a championship that is not completely in my hands, it is also about your team-mate and everything. But we are fighting and we will try to get it."

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

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November 11, 2016 7:22 PM
Last Edited 173 days ago

Well It's an evolution of the 2014 chassis, not the exact one. He just won the title with this thing, so why change...If the engine is fixed, i think it could be a great combination. But expecting some the fans from Valentino's fanbase to come out and say "Oh Marquez can't develop a bike like Valentino can!"..... Just remember the Ducati years please.

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