Marc Marquez is seeking an improvement with the stability of his Repsol Honda on Saturday after encountering some issues with the RCV in the fast corners at Phillip Island.

The MotoGP World Championship leader was second fastest overall behind Aleix Espargaro on Friday, with key title rival Andrea Dovizioso only 0.092s behind him in third on the factory Ducati.

Marquez, who topped the times in FP1 in the morning, said he lost his way slightly in the afternoon but is confident he can improve significantly during final free practice and qualifying on Saturday.

“From FP1 we started in a good way, we started with a good base set-up and I was feeling really good on the bike. In the afternoon we lose our way a little bit and then we came back to what we had in FP1,” he said.

“Tomorrow I believe we can improve a lot, especially on the stability of the bike on the fast corners because at the moment it is quite unstable. We will try to keep the same level because we have a good pace.”

Marquez has been traditionally strong at the Australian circuit and while he acknowledges his pace, he is wary that Dovizioso has also made a strong start to the weekend. The title rivals are separated by only 11 points with three races to go.

Marquez said: :“Difficult to say, Casey [Stoner] here was really strong and it is a circuit where you need to believe in your bike and you need to push a lot because it has fast corners and it is really difficult to get the line. Like I said yesterday, it is important also to start in a good way and then the weekend becomes easier and easier.

“But the problem also is that Dovi start also in a good way, in FP1 he was already very fast, but what makes me strong is that normally in a circuit with left corners I am fast.”

Home favourite Jack Miller made an impressive start on his return from injury as he finished day one sixth fastest on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda, but Marquez said it was more important to work towards maintain a good pace for the race when the tyre level drops.

“From the first year Jack was always very fast here and it looks like he started really good. On one lap he is able to very, very fast but here the most important is to work for the race because it is many laps, the tyre drops, so you need to manage well,” he said.

“This morning with the medium I was fast but this afternoon with the soft I did only 14 laps because last run I put another new one, so I cannot record the information, but we need to see how is the soft working because it looks like Ducati will try to use the soft.”

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