By his own exulted standards during a MotoGP race weekend in the USA Marc Marquez could only manage a modest second place on Friday afternoon, a day in which he tried Honda’s new swingarm device.

The reigning world champion joked the new part, which was controversially approved during the Grand Prix of Argentina, was fitted to add stiffness to the swingarm, before admitting its benefits were of an aerodynamic nature.

“Yes, of course it's obvious, you saw, we tried something on the swing arm for the 'stiffness' [laughs],” he said. “But I felt something there that was interesting, but sometimes it's better to come back, just try to analyse, try to understand, and of course we need to take more information about this.

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“One of the differences is the braking point. It's downforce. So it's an aerodynamic thing, but still we need to analyse more. Because it also has some negative points, some positive and some negative points, so we need to understand which is better for our riding style.”

Did he notice a change in tyre temperature? “I didn't check,” he answered. “But I don't think it's a big difference for the tyre temperature.”

At the close of FP2, Marquez trailed Maverick Viñales by 0.044s, an oddity at the Circuit of the Americas. “Every year the others are improving,” he said. “I'm a rider, but I can arrive in a new track and it's quite easy for me to find the limit. But then the others are improving a lot.

“And today, for example, we had some issues, and we tried to find a bike in these last years which is very constant in all the race tracks. That means that we are losing in our strongest point, and we are gaining in our weakest point.

“So, in this race track, we had many strong points in the past, but now in the last years, it's less and less, but the most important thing is the championship. I know that the day will arrive that somebody will beat me here, but I need to understand that it's normal.

“What is not normal is to win and win and win every year. And the most important for me is the championship. But apart from that, today the rhythm was good, and strong.”

On the condition of the notoriously bumpy track surface, he said, “Of course in FP1 it was really hard to understand the lines to take, the way to ride. Like I said yesterday, this circuit is changing every year, and it's true that it's a little bit bumpier in some areas, but of course you remember the biggest bumps.

“That's Turn 2, exit of Turn 9 there is a big bump, then last corner, right corner, 16, 17, 18 there's another big bump. But apart from that, the rest of the track – OK, on the back straight is a bit bumpy – but in FP1, you are riding and it looks like the end of the world, but then FP2 becomes better and better.

“It's true that for our bike, absorbing the bumps is not the strongest point, so for that reason, maybe we are playing with the setup, and we need to understand how to improve. But even like this, I was happy on the race pace and we are riding in a good way.”

Marquez was seen gesticulating in frustration at the close of FP2 when a mistake at turn 16 caused him to run wide. At that time Jack Miller was behind, taking advantage of the #93’s slipstream.

Had his frustration been directed toward the Australian? “Yes, I know that he was there, and I know that he was fast. But you know one thing for me, one fast lap here is not the most important thing.

“I was working for my race pace, trying to understand the lines, and we are only on Friday, but it's normal.

“Like, everybody speaks when I followed in Qatar, because I was struggling, but it's normal that in Argentina they were following me, here they are following me, but maybe I will arrive in another circuit where I will need to try to follow somebody, but this is racing.

“So it's normal that Jack tried to follow me, and I completely understand. And for me, I just keep concentrated on my way, which is to work for Sunday.”

 

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