Luca Marini: “One of the best Fridays of the year”

Luca Marini was satisfied with his feeling with the RC213V on Friday in Catalunya, explains why he is sticking with the old aero for now.
Luca Marini, 2024 Catalan MotoGP
Luca Marini, 2024 Catalan MotoGP

Like Repsol Honda team-mate Joan Mir, Luca Marini does not have the new Honda aerodynamics, so far homologated only for Johann Zarco and HRC wild-card Stefan Bradl, at this weekend's Catalunya MotoGP.

But he still had “one of the best Fridays of the year”, aided by the private test at Mugello, although he remained in 22nd, ahead of only Bradl.

“Even if the classification is still very bad, the feeling of the bike has improved a lot,” said Marini, who was 1.244s from leader Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

“Now I can ride the bike better, I can feel a different sensation, and it's something that I like. But still the performance is not good."

"We just need to find a little bit more confidence, a little bit more speed, and then understand in which area we need to work more. 

"That for sure will include the aerodynamic side, because at that moment I will still continue with the old fairing.

“It looks like on Zarco's pace he made a good step, but he has a different [aero] package. So we need to wait until we can try it in races, due to the homologation regulation.”

Quizzed on why he hadn’t decided to use the new fairing here, the Italian explained:

“I tested it. It's positive, but not enough to use an homologation. We just need a little detail more that can help us a little bit more, so then we can homologate.”

The revised technical concessions mean Honda and Yamaha riders are allowed two aero updates during the season, rather than the usual single update.

Tyre wear is always a major factor at the low grip Barcelona circuit, but Marini said the revised Michelin rubber means it’s “30%” less significant than in the past.

“It's a little bit different [on the Honda] compared to Ducati,” said Marini, previously a VR46 Ducati rider. “In my opinion, it looks like the Ducati uses a lot more the rear tyre in braking, so they start to put some temperature in the tyre already from the braking.  But on exit they have much more grip than us.

“Also at the end, they can manage much better the tyre life than us, because for us it's very important to try to have a good acceleration, but we still don't have enough grip to go with Aprilia and with KTM.

“But the tyres have improved so much that I think that this year, the management of the tyres will not be so crucial as last year. It's just a little bit less important. Like 30% less important, maybe.”

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