After 60 laps of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit, where he had finished in a fighting fourth place on Sunday, Marquez said: “We found some small things that are working better. But we need to keep working because our weak point is still there.”

The eight-time world champion has been struggling to adapt to the change in front feeling caused by the pursuit of more rear grip on the 2022 RC213V.

Adding to the complexity is that the all-new bike had initially impressed with the likes of team-mate Pol Espargaro in winter testing and the Qatar season-opener, suggesting Marquez simply needed to adapt his style to the new bike.

But the RCV’s performance level has dropped since Qatar with Marquez emerging, once again, as Honda’s clear team leader - albeit on a bike that he still doesn’t feel completely comfortable on.

Without a podium so far this season, despite a stunning last-to-sixth ride in COTA, Marquez began his Jerez test ‘early’ by trying some radical set-up changes in Friday practice for the Spanish GP.

But the move backfired and the eight-time world champion reverted to the bike’s normal setting for the rest of the weekend.

Monday’s first in-season test of the year provided the chance to run through more set-up options, plus some new parts. The Spaniard had three machines in his garage although, at least from the outside, the new parts appeared limited to aerodynamics. Including a 2021 fairing.

“It was a good day. I mean important,” Marquez said after completing his 60 laps, the best of which put him 15th on the timesheets, “We tried some things and like always some of them worked well, some of them felt like it was not the way.

“We tried some evolutions in the aerodynamic things,” Marquez confirmed. “We also tried aero from this year, because in the pre-season [we were at] long and very fast circuits, Malaysia and Indonesia, but Jerez is a tight circuit.

“So it was just to try to understand the difference. We got a lot of nice information and basically this was one of the important things. Of course you always want more, but overall it was a good day, so we're looking forward to Le Mans.”

Espargaro, who finished eleventh in the grand prix, appeared to be mainly working on set-up and geometry during a mammoth 80 laps, setting the fifth best time.

LCR’s Alex Marquez was eleventh while team-mate Takaaki Nakagami had to halt testing early after injuring his knee.