Having outlined Honda's main problems following his early exit from the Catalunya MotoGP race, Marc Marquez and team-mate Pol Espargaro set to work on trying to find solutions during the Monday test.

"In the acceleration side we cannot get the grip and in the corner entry we cannot stop the bike because with the rear we don’t have the grip also," Marquez explained on Sunday evening.

"So it's two different problems, in two different areas, but I think the solution is going in the same way."

The eight-time world champion had been too weak and sore to ride in the previous post-race test, at Jerez, but in a positive sign for his physical progress was able to clock a massive 87 laps on Monday.

Marquez spent his time trying 'big changes' to his current bike, including an all-black machine and new aerodynamics, but the seat time alone was important during his first MotoGP test day since July 2020.

"I'm destroyed! Today I suffer, but I need a day like this just to ride. Okay, we tried things on the bike, but just for myself to ride and do more and more laps," said Marquez, who has crashed out of the last three races.

"In the beginning I wasn't bad [physically] but in the afternoon I was not pushing because I wasn't able to push.

"Anyway, I think these days will be important, these days for the future."

The Spaniard, who set the eleventh fastest lap time, 0.674s from test leader Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), added:

"We worked during the day not on small changes, like a set-up change, it was more a big change every time I went out on the track, to try to understand the direction, try to understand what is the problem.

"And let's see because was not a bad day, I mean I was able to ride in a better way than for example in the race weekend and this was positive.

"We tried many things and we were riding, like you see, a black-fairing bike. It was a big change but it is not a [2022] prototype, I mean it is very similar to what I have now.

"The engine and everything was exactly the same. It was just a few differences, bike balance, it's there where we are trying to understand some concepts for the future and like this they will have time to work more for the next test in Misano."

One development for this season was an updated aerodynamic package, with Honda yet to homologate its one available upgrade.

"One of the things where we work is the aerodynamic package, because still we have one chance to homologate," Marquez confirmed. "Honestly, maybe we feel a small difference and will try to have these two different packages for two kinds of circuits and maybe in that case we will homologate the different wings that can help a little bit in fast circuits."

Team-mate Pol Espargaro was also in problem-solving mode on his way to the sixth fastest lap time, 0.477s from Vinales.

"Well, I was focussing on the bike we used during the race weekend, thinking more about the present than the future," said Espargaro, who also fell in Sunday's race. "I think at the moment we have quite a lot of problems with the current bike that needs to be improved before we start to think of the future.

"If we are able to improve the problems we have now the future bikes are going to be much, much faster. So it's what we were trying to do. Just putting small details on the current bike and I think it was quite okay.

"I think we found some things that maybe can be useful for the next race in Sachsenring, but until we get there and check the tyres and tarmac of Sachsenring and everything we don’t know if what we have improved here is going to be useful there as well. But anyway, it was a positive test."

LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami was the fastest Honda rider at the test, reportedly again going back and forth between the 2020 and 2021 chassis as well as trying the new aero.

With Honda currently enduring its longest premier-class win drought since 1982 and yet to feature on the podium this season, HRC team manager Alberto Puig didn't sugar coat the situation.

“From a performance point of view, there is not a positive point to be found," Puig said after the double non-finish in the Barcelona race.

"All we can say is that HRC and the team are 100% invested in solving these issues and trying to find and create solutions for our riders.

“Honda HRC never looks for excuses and nor do their riders. There is a problem, we need to solve it and we are working to fix it.”

 

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