Marquez: Physical condition ‘much better’, expects further upgrades in Portimao

Following the opening day of the Sepang MotoGP test, Marc Marquez has admitted Honda still need to find more pace in order to compete with their rivals, although his physical condition was a big step forward compared to last season. 
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Sepang 2023
Marc Marquez, Honda MotoGP Sepang 2023

The six-time MotoGP champion eventually slipped out of the top ten after significant improvements from the likes of Marco Bezzecchi, Johann Zarco and Fabio Di Giannantonio saw them leapfrog the Repsol Honda rider.

Until that point Marquez spent most of the day around six tenths down on pacesetter Jorge Martin, before Bezzecchi’s effort of a 1:58.470s moved the benchmark time forward by nearly three tenths. 

Keen to provide Marquez with a bike capable of challenging Ducati and Aprilia, both of whom dominated the opening day of action, Honda supplied four different bikes to Marquez’s side of the garage, although differences were small, said the Spaniard.

"We had many bikes in the garage. Not very different, they are quite similar," added Marquez. "Between one there is a big difference but we started the day with more-or-less the base from Valencia and then we started working through some concepts and some things. 

"It’s difficult sometimes in the pre-seaon because every run is quite a big difference on the bike. But step-by-step I feel good on the bike, but for me, it was a positive day regarding my physical condition because I feel much better than last year. This was very important. 

"About the new bike, the feeling is that the new concept is more-or-less like Valencia. Tomorrow we will start working and also in Portimao I think something new will arrive. 

"Let’s see. We need to keep working in our garage, get all the information and improve tenth-by-tenth because still we are far from the top riders."

Marquez was by far the quickest Honda rider after finishing four tenths clear of new team-mate Joan Mir.

Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 10 February
Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 10 February

However, Marquez was close to a second down on Bezzecchi’s time as Ducati had seven bikes inside the top ten positions.

A result that follows a similar theme from last season means Honda will need to be efficient in their development of the RC213V, which Marquez knows can come from providing the right sort of feedback.  

Marquez added: "Of course I expect new ideas. And also to try and understand where we are. I will and I give my comments about the bike. 

"I can say what I need, I can say what I feel and I can say where we are losing but then the guys are the ones to give the solutions or the ideas."

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