There were signs of HRC reacting to Marc Marquez’s demands to late-season improvements as the MotoGP championship leader posted the fastest time at the post-race test at Brno with four bikes at his disposal.

As is usually the case, the 25-year old was cautious when detailing exactly what he had been testing, but did say the general aim was to understand why Honda’s RC213V tends to overwork the front tyre, forcing its riders to always opt for the hardest Michelin option.

Marquez also stated that HRC’s new hardware that filled his garage was partly to improve performance in the remaining nine races, as well as 2019, which suggests one of the four machines was an early prototype for next year.

“I can’t say everything but you saw in the garage that at one time four were there,” said Marquez, whose fastest time of 1m 55.209s was enough to top the testing timesheets by 0.133s, with Johann Zarco second.



“There were many different things. One of the things I tried in our current bike, because we need to understand how to manage in a better way the front tyre. It’s what we’re working on.

“Then we tried with another bike, another specification on the geometry and chassis area. Then we worked also for the future and we started to try a few things for the next part of this season and for next season.”

On what could be an early evolution of the 2019 RC213V, Marquez continued, “Basically it was not a completely new bike. In the Montmeló test I ride a black bike and it was with the same engine and everything.

“But yeah, we started to work for the future, especially we need to understand why the other manufacturers can always use the softer front compound and we are always using the hard. Sometimes when the temperature is high we are struggling. For that reason I was riding at 3 in the day with 55 degrees on the track.

“It’s something that we want to understand. Basically we concentrated there. Other things also related about connection with the gas, because still we are missing something there and we can improve.”

Could these improvements aid his fight against pre-race favourites Ducati at the Red Bull Ring this coming weekend? “Maybe in Austria I don’t know if it will be a real positive thing there, but at the end of the day with the corner speed and also with the connection of the gas, we improve a little bit there.

“It was something I was asking to get the feeling, because I was not riding comfortable 100%. We did a small improvement. This is the way and this is positive. Also stopping on the brakes, we improve.

“But we will see in Austria. Sometimes we improve here but in Austria it’s a different kind of track and it will be more difficult. But we are on the way.”

In yesterday’s post-race press conference Marquez was some way from his normal, chipper self. A narrow defeat to both Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo was clearly a source of frustration at the time for the rider that had dominated FP3 and FP4.

“Of course I tried on the last lap but I was angry – well, not angry but disappointed – because I had the speed yesterday,” he said of his emotion after Sunday’s thrilling three-way fight for the win, which resulted in the eighth closest premier class podium - 0.368s - of all time.

“I had the same speed as Ducati. But fighting against them is quite difficult because here has long straights and they have really good top speed. You arrive far on the brake point and they have a really good braking point. If you arrive far and you cannot recover…

“Yeah, in the corner speed I was very, very fast but it was so difficult to attack because always I was too far [back] to overtake. If you see where I overtake Lorenzo, in the middle between five and six, it was the only place that I can. Another thing also is to defend. When you try to defend the other Ducati rider is by your side because they take the slipstream and they are faster than you.

“It’s something that we already expected here. Of course, I am leading the championship and want to win every race but sometimes you can’t. But this is something in the spirit of the riders.”

Does this frustration provide greater motivation going forward? “But it was not frustration,” he insisted. “Of course I was angry because, you know, all the riders are winners, we are winners and we want to attack all the time. If somebody beats you then, you have a big advantage in the championship, but they beat you.

“This is something that now I can control on the bike. In the past I was not able to control. Just I was attacking all the time. Now I can control and I am able to think more on the bike with experience. But it’s true that in the future we need to improve and we need to find the way to fight against them.”


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