Marc Marquez says Honda is working on finding a balance between power and control with its new engine specification at the Sepang MotoGP test but concedes his progress is hampered by his shoulder recovery.

The reigning MotoGP world champion was buoyed by adrenaline returning to action on the opening day of the official Sepang test, which he topped despite being limited in the number of laps he could complete, but accepts the reality of the pain and lack of strength from his shoulder is kicking in.

Marquez has wrapped up track action early on both days of the Sepang test so far, completing just 37 laps on day two, in order to avoid damaging his shoulder during his comeback but was still content with the work completed on Honda’s new engine specification.

“We are trying big things now. We tried the engine, we tried a few different things,” Marquez said. “Then we tried a completely different character of the bike. Tomorrow we will try to continue in this way, but the most important thing is to work on the engine, because it's the thing that from Qatar until the end, we cannot touch.

“We are looking more for top power. We are looking more at trying to have more top speed, which means more top power. But as soon as you have more power, then it's more difficult to manage in the corners.

“So now we are trying to check if we can manage this torque also in the corners, because it’s good. Yesterday for example was more torque but less control. Today we compensated this a little bit, and it was less torque but more control. But still we need to find the way.”

Honda at the Sepang Shakedown Test

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With more power but less control, Marquez also feels he cannot use his natural riding style to a full extent in order not to aggravate his left shoulder with the damage much worse than doctors initially expected when he underwent surgery two months ago.

The Spaniard feels without being fully fit it makes working on “small details” less accurate as he can’t use normal riding style, while he’s wary of overextending himself and causing prolonged shoulder damage which would impact his fitness for the opening MotoGP rounds in Qatar and Argentina in March.

“It's strange, and it's not my instinct and it’s not my riding style,” he said. “So for that reason, we are changing the plan and trying some big things in other areas, because they are more important.

“To work on small details, sometimes you need to ride like you want, and now I'm not riding like I want.

“I need to follow my body. When I say follow your body, follow your feeling, it’s for this. Because now if I want, I can ride, I can keep riding, but with pain. But the problem is that if I have a big inflammation, then it becomes worse and worse, and I lose a week of my recovery.

“So I need to follow my body, and when I feel pain, more pain than normal, I need to stop, and tomorrow will be another day.”

Marquez has endured a long and painful recovery from shoulder surgery which took four hours to complete, three-times longer than initially expected, to cure his dislocation problems.

Yesterday the Repsol Honda rider revealed his left shoulder was so damaged at the end of last season that is immediately fell out of its socket when he received anaesthetic before the operation.

Marquez finished day two of the Sepang test eighth fastest, having been out of action during late time attacks by his rivals, to end the day 0.893s off timesheet-topper Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha.

 

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