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Sepang Testing: Marquez: We know the problem, difficult to improve it

Marc Marquez spends day one at Sepang adjusting engine mapping settings to HRC's new motor; finds it still to be lacking in acceleration.
Marc Marquez has stated Honda's new engine seems to be more manageable in certain areas, but still found it lacking in acceleration, as he posted the ninth fastest time at Sepang on Monday.

Like team-mate Dani Pedrosa and fellow HRC rider Cal Crutchlow, Marquez was putting Honda's brand new engine through its paces, and comparing it to a previous motor.

Marquez found the new engine to be smoother in its delivery in low RPM, but said that improvement in feel was not evident on the time sheets. The reigning world champion was just over a second slower than pace setter Casey Stoner.

Still, the young Catalan was also adjusting the electronics – primarily engine mapping – to the engine's new characteristics, and hinted that there is clearly still more to come from both him and the machine.

“Today we worked a lot on the engine, on the electronics and still tomorrow we must work on this side of the bike,” said Marquez.

“The new engine is completely different so all the maps that we had for the other engine is not working on this one. Already with this standard map we are riding with the same lap time as the other engine.

“We still need to adjust well and also to maybe tomorrow we'll start to work on the set-up of the bike. It's important to understand many, many things like the wheelie. We already worked a lot in Valencia but here we need to continue."

On how the new engine differs to what he had tested before, he offered, “It looks like in the low RPM it's really different.

“With the gas it looks maybe smoother but then the lap time is similar. Still we have some problems on the exit of the corner, with the grip and things like that.

“Then on the straight it looks slightly faster but still the map is not working perfect. Then the up-shift of the gears isn't working well and we must understand what is the potential of the engine.”

With its two long straights preceded by slow, low-gear corners, Marquez found Sepang to be one of the RC213V's weaker tracks in 2016, which exposed the '16 bike's most vulnerable deficit – acceleration.

From tests that he conducted on Monday, Marquez feels there has been no significant improvement in that area.

“Here is one of the circuits where we must decide because it's important to take a lot of information. But we will decide at the last test but it's important here. We have long straights and long accelerations to understand if we're losing a lot.

“Still we're losing a lot. I already compared with another bike and still we are losing a lot. But for me, the first time because it's another engine compared to Valencia.

“Yeah, it's true that even last year I won the championship but I had some problems during the year. Last year we won the championship but we were not the fastest ones in a lot of races.

“Here is one of the tracks that we struggle more on the calendar and we have a lot of work to do. We are in a situation where we know is the problem but it's difficult to improve. We're there playing around with it to try and avoid [making the same mistake].”

On the direction he will take on Tuesday and Wednesday, Marquez said tomorrow's aims primarily include working on the new engine and the new engine alone.

“Maybe we'll come back [to the old engine spec from Valencia on Wednesday]. It depends. Also it's important to make some back to back. Another thing is the weather.

“Maybe the back-to-back will be the best way to work tomorrow but we don't know. The plan is to work tomorrow with the 2017 to see where we can arrive and maybe the last day we'll make the back-to-back or we'll concentrate on this bike. We'll see.”

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