An emphatic victory in front of his home crowd was less than a day in the memory and Marc Marquez’s attentions had already turned to the next race in France, as the new championship leader used Monday’s post-race test at Jerez to assess a variety of new aerodynamic fairings.

On Monday evening Marquez also appeared to react to Cal Crutchlow’s recent comments, stating their ’18 spec Honda RC213Vs are “exactly the same” after the Englishman had pointed to the Repsol men’s carbon swingarm as key to the outcome of Sunday’s race in Andalusia.

The six-time world champion ended the day with the fifth fastest time, his 1m 38.232s lap some nine tenths of a second quicker than his personal best lap from Sunday’s triumphant outing.

Set-up, he said, was not a priority here. Rather, a host of aerodynamic features were tried out with the upcoming outing at the heavy braking, heavy accelerating Le Mans in mind.

“Set-up, no,” said Marquez. “[We did] Zero set-up today. We just test aerodynamic things – a lot of aerodynamic things. I mean a lot of fairings. I think three different types. But yeah, we are working on there. I mean everybody has tried to work on that area because to improve the wheelie, improve the turning.

“Still we need to re-try in another circuit because as you know we have only one chance to homologate one more fairing. But we had some positive things, so I'm happy.

“It's coming Le Mans and looks like will be important there. We don't know if we will homologate before or not. Still we are not sure and we need to analyse well. Le Mans will be important to have a good aerodynamic because the wheelie is one of the keys points.”

Repsol Honda and Lucio Cecchinello’s LCR squad now travel to Italy to join the factory Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia teams for a test later this week. Asked about the aims for that outing, Marquez said, “In Mugello we will work in another way.

“First of all we will concentrate on the set-up of the bike to find a good base for the race weekend. And then of course we will try the fairings again there and if the same, like was working well here, is working there maybe we will use our 'joker'. But still we don't know.”

The 25-year old said repeatedly throughout preseason that HRC’s aim for its experienced riders – Marquez, Pedrosa and Crutchlow – was to perfect its ’18 engine before the opening race in Qatar. Thus chassis focus was somewhat neglected, with Marquez stating that work would take precedence once the season started and this season’s engines were homologated and development frozen.



Asked whether any frame updates were incoming, Marquez said, “They are working on the chassis area. We know that the main priority during the first part of the season was the engine and they concentrated all their power on the engine. But I know they have already started to think about something on the chassis – we already speak here – to try to improve.

“Especially front area is where I will concentrate a little bit more and we will see when we arrive at Montmelo for the test… we don't know exactly, but apart from that we improve also today we had a small improvement for the engine that was working well. So step by step it's coming, we have a good pace.”

Marquez also had some words on the state of play with fellow HRC runner Crutchlow. Even though the Catalan had used Honda’s carbon swingarm for Sunday’s 25-lap race while the Englishman didn’t, he insisted there was no difference in their bike specs when assessing the strength of the field's satellite machines.

“I mean now it's very equal. I mean in case of Honda for example, Cal has the same bike as me. Exactly the same. Even sometimes he gets some new parts before me because he try but he have like a factory bike, so he is the same.

“But yeah he's in a good speed, a good form, even [Johann] Zarco. Many riders are pushing. This is good for the category because the level is more equal and it's more interesting for the fans.”


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