Reigning double MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has pinpointed the Honda RC213V's engine as top of his 'fix' list as he seeks to close a growing points gap.

The only problem is that the MotoGP development freeze means engine design cannot change during the season.

"We are trying to fix the engine," Marquez said at Mugello on Thursday. "That is the most difficult because the engines are 'closed' and it is where we have the problem. Because it is too aggressive on the entry and also on the exit of the corner. But we are trying to fix that."

With little of the engine itself able to be modified, Marquez and Honda are focussing on peripheral features such as electronics to tone-down the character.

"First we will try to fix by the team and me, with electronics, try to adjust these problems and avoid this movement and aggressive feeling. But of course about the mechanical side, the engine we cannot touch, but other things I think also we can have some solutions.

"Le Mans is a very short circuit. The temperature is cold and the engine is pushing too much and wheelies all the time. Here the gearbox and everything is longer and also there is no big acceleration so maybe here the problem will be less."

Marquez added: "We must find [a fix]. The most difficult is to find this during the race [weekends] because we don't have much time. But we already have some ideas, so here we will try."

In complete contrast to his unbeaten run of ten races at the start of last season, Marquez begins this weekend's Italian MotoGP with just one win (Texas) from five races and a 33-point gap to championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Marquez had again looked like the rider to beat heading into this season, but his title assault has been plagued by a variety of issues: A mistake at turn one in Qatar, a clash with Valentino Rossi on the penultimate lap in Argentina, a finger injury while training prior to Jerez and then front-end issues for all the RCV riders last time in Le Mans.

While some of those problems were simply racing incidents, many believe Marquez has generally been forced to try and 'mask' issues with this year's Honda, magnified by a twin-attack from Yamaha and Ducati.

"We speak [with Honda since Le Mans]," said Marquez, who held off an inspired Jorge Lorenzo for victory at Mugello last season. "We keep in contact by telephone, by Skype, by everything.

"We are working hard to try to manage the problems. At the moment obviously we are a little bit far, but if the conditions are ok we can be there like we show in Argentina, in Jerez. But in Le Mans it was everything together.

"But this is Honda. I believe in Honda. Anyway I am working also on my side to try to be ready. I'm happy because I saw that they are pushing a lot. I am pushing a lot and I'm sure soon we will have something."



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