Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has spoken of keeping his current Honda chassis and adopting a step-by-step approach to technical updates, focussing on the engine, for the 2017 MotoGP season.

But Cal Crutchlow feels a wider range of RC213V updates are needed, indicating that Marquez's exceptional riding ability could be masking some of the issues.

"We'll see. I think there's more priority than just the engine, but when Marc's doing what he's doing, who am I to say he is wrong or right? The problem is, I think everybody else is right and he's wrong; he's just fast!" Crutchlow said.

Marquez won five races on the way to his third world title, but was the only Honda rider in the championship top five. Crutchlow took two wins for Honda this year, with one victory each for Dani Pedrosa (Repsol) and Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda).

The current Honda RCV is renowned for its aggressive, corner-exit wheelies.

"The priority yes, maybe at the moment, is the engine. But the priority last year was the engine also and we turned up and were miles off the pace. They need to change more things than an engine, they know and they are working," Crutchlow added.

"The problem, when we are trying to improve the engine first and foremost, is that engines need to be sealed and we're not allowed to update them during the season.

"And we know Ducati has got more of a rocket next year than they have now. It's going to be difficult to be competitive again, even with the engine change. If they change the engine.

"I don't know what chassis I'll be on. I don't know what engine I'll be on either. I honestly don't know at the moment what I'll be on at the start of next year."

While Crutchlow was coy about the 2017 engine modifications, most believe the version used in private tests had a new 'big bang'-style firing pattern, rather than the existing even-firing 'screamer' V4.

The 2017 Honda is due to get its first public outing during official testing at Valencia on Tuesday and Wednesday.

By Peter McLaren


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