Speaking on Thursday at the inaugural Indian MotoGP, the eight-time world champion explained that he and LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami felt the prototype was no better than the current bike.

But Repsol team-mate Joan Mir, like test rider Stefan Bradl, did feel an improvement and is eager to race the bike as soon as possible in the remaining rounds.

That can happen since the prototype, featuring a heavily-revised riding position, is still powered by the current spec engine, clearing the way for Bradl to use it as a wild-card during the Misano grand prix event.

“The prototype we tried in the Misano test was a little bit better than what we had,” Mir said. “It’s true it’s not where we want to be. The engine is still the same [so] probably it’s a first step but we need a lot more.

“On that bike the chassis was different, and the position of the rider was different.

“In the test, I was a bit more optimistic because I could ride more comfortably with used tyres. [But] it’s true that a Monday test is always difficult to make good conclusions because it can hide some problems. The grip is fantastic, the bike turns well.”

Mir hoped to race the prototype in India but said he will need to wait until next weekend’s Japanese round.

“We didn’t receive the [new] bike here. I expected it but we don’t have it so we’ll make the weekend as the previous one so we will struggle,” he said.

“It’s a shame to not have [the new bike] here but I hope to have it in Japan to make more laps and understand if it’s the right direction, which will be very helpful for Honda.”

Marc Marquez: ‘We are not looking for one tenth’

But Marquez drew a different conclusion from his debut on the prototype.

“We tried the new prototype, which had some interesting things, but the performance overall was the same or in my case a bit worse. So let’s keep riding with the one we know,” said Marquez, who set his best lap with the standard bike.

Addressing the apparent split in feedback on the prototype by the Honda riders, Marquez confirmed:

“In the test we were ‘two and two’. Me and Taka that were a bit like we prefer the [standard] one and Stefan and Mir preferred the new one.

“It’s true that in the end if you prefer the new one, but you finish in the top of the standings, then I can understand. But it’s not the case at the moment. So what I say is that it is not enough to fight for the top positions for next year.

“We need to improve the exit of the corner. On entry we are not bad, but we need to improve mid-exit.

“It [prototype] can be a bit better but we are not looking for one tenth. We are looking for 6-7 tenths per lap. So it’s there where we need to change and for me it doesn’t matter to ride a bike one tenth faster or slower. We need much more.

“This is my opinion… and another point is that you don’t have the same riding style in a test, especially in the afternoon when there is a lot of rubber and you can use more banking [lean] than on a race weekend.

“I don’t know if the other riders have plans [to race the prototype] but at the moment, in my case, no.”

Marc Marquez: My future? ‘No news at the moment’

Meanwhile, Marquez kept the speculation over his MotoGP future alive by saying he had ‘no news at the moment’.

The eight-time world champion appeared to revel in the firestorm generated by rumours of a possible shock switch to Gresini Ducati over the Misano weekend, ignited by his own football-transfer style ‘Things are happening’ social media post.

“My ideas are the same as one month ago… No news at the moment,” said Marquez, now winless in MotoGP for almost 700 days, since Misano 2021.

Marquez completed just three of the opening eight rounds due to injuries and has switched to a more risk-free approach since the summer break.

The 30-year-old claimed his best grand prix finish of the season with seventh last time in Misano, after gambling on a soft rear tyre.