MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez says he is at a loss to understand why he remains so competitive on the Repsol Honda this season even though he does not have a good feeling with the bike.

Marquez maintained his unbeaten winning streak in Austin as he clinched his maiden victory of 2017 to remain firmly in the mix at the top of the championship, although he has been struggling to match the race pace of factory Yamaha machines Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.

However, the Spanish rider says Honda is continuing to work hard behind the scenes and also points out that while he is not yet able to ride to his full potential on the RCV, the problem has also been exacerbated by the fact his rivals have improved.

"Sometimes the people misunderstand because the bike that I have now, maybe the level is even higher than 2014, but the problem is that the opponents are faster and better," Marquez said.

"In the end this is sport and you must take this evolution of going up and getting better, but for some reason we are there in some situations. Honda is working really hard this year with the new character of the engine to try different things.

"Honestly I don't feel well with the bike at this moment but for some reason I am fast. I hope that in the future I will be feeling better on the bike and then be even faster, but we are trying to understand this kind of feeling that I have on the bike because for some reason I don't understand why I am fast.

"All Yamaha riders at the moment are really strong, especially both factory Yamaha riders and also Johann [Zarco], but I already said in Austin that maybe this year with this engine we have, our strong points are maybe a little bit less, but our weak points are a little bit better."

Marquez seized his chance to claim 25 points at the Circuit of the Americas and he is hopeful he can muster another solid result on Sunday at Jerez in Spain.

"Austin was the time to push, the time to get a good result because our performance during the first races was good but for some reason on the Sunday I wasn't able to finish in a good position.

"In Austin finally we arrived and now we are in Jerez. We did a test here in February and I feel quite good. The pace was not so bad and of course now we arrive with a completely different bike because we learned many things during these first races.

"To come back in Europe, the tracks are quite different, more narrow, a little bit shorter some of them, and sometimes when you find a good base set-up here in Jerez it is working for many circuits.

"I was feeling well when we tested here and our rhythm was not so bad; even Dani [Pedrosa] was fast. We will see during the weekend but of course I will try to be on the top level and fight for the victory."

Marquez has also hailed Monday's test at Jerez as vitally important for Honda after he did not test at Le Mans in France earlier this week.

"We will try and work hard this weekend and during Monday tests. On Tuesday we didn't test in Le Mans because it was not enough time to test all the things we have, so Monday is a really important test for Honda.

"On Tuesday, already Cal tried some new things and it was working pretty well, so we will try to work hard especially in Monday's test to try to do another step for the next races."



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