Marc VDS Honda MotoGP rookies Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Luthi head for the start of the European season at Jerez needing a step forward with the set-up of their RC213Vs.

Both were left outside the points during a difficult Austin weekend, but this weekend will see Morbidelli able to call upon set-up data from a private test on the new Jerez surface in November (see video).

"After the difficult race we had in Austin it will be important to regain some confidence this weekend in Jerez, which is a track we've tested at previously and for which we have more data and more experience compared to Argentina and Austin," said the reigning Moto2 champion, who had finished 12th and 14th prior to Austin.

"We know that Jerez is a track where controlling the power and the tendency of the bike to wheelie out of the corners is important and that's what we need to focus on. We need to make another step forward with the bike, which will be the main goal this weekend."



Luthi missed the Jerez test due to injuries from the 2017 Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix weekend but should also benefit from the team's prior track time.

"I'm looking forward to racing in Europe again at Jerez," said the Swiss, still chasing his first premier-class points.

"It's unfortunate that I missed out on the November test at the circuit, but it's positive that my crew were working there and that my crew chief Gilles Bigot already has some experience with the Honda RC213V at Jerez. Hopefully this means we will start the weekend on a little bit of a higher level.

"When I look back at Austin we couldn't really find any improvements on Saturday or Sunday and this is something we need to change in Jerez, with the goal being to make a step each day and to secure some points on Sunday."

Team principal Michael Bartholemy said there will be nowhere to hide at Jerez if the set-up isn't working.

"After a reasonable start to the season in Qatar and Argentina we struggled to give both riders a set-up they felt comfortable with in Austin," he said.

"This we need to address this weekend in Jerez, a tight and twisty track that we know from the past punishes severely any weaknesses in set-up.

"This is important for us, as it will give us a good indication of exactly where we are with the bike and a clearer idea of which direction we need to work in with the set-up."

Marc VDS is still to confirm its 2019 machinery amid rumours of a change to either Suzuki or Yamaha.





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