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Title: Marc Marquez wanting more from his engine and electronics for 2017 season
Author: Sienna Wedes

Marc Marquez is struggling to find the bike set up that makes him happy. Right now, the Spanish World Champion is looking for a stronger relationship between his Honda engine and electronics. The improvements made at Phillip Island are in the right direction although the Spaniard wants to utilise his time in Qatar to be ready for the title fight. Marquez is as always focusing on race wins whilst battling the likes of Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Vinales.

On the second day of testing Marquez completed 107 laps. The team is not at 100% just yet. Every year Marquez finds things to fix and wants to grow as a rider and to assist his Repsol Honda team in creating a bike that ticks all of the boxes. Fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow has also struggled with the new engine and is finding ways to adapt with his LCR Honda team. There are people out there that feel Marquez is trying to psych out his rivals by complaining about the bike considering his lap times at Phillip Island were very strong. Maybe there is a game going on and on the other hand it might just be that Marc is aiming to fix areas of the Honda that are constantly on his mind.

Q: How is the new engine on this circuit? Is it very different from the one in Sepang?

Marc Marquez: Yes it is quite different and one of the things is that we have taken a lot of time because we need to time to readjust the electronics to this new different configuration of engine. We did lose a lot of time on the first morning but it is something that we need to do. We have to pay attention here because on the race weekend we do not have this time. Of course, everything is new. The team are trying to understand which points need improving and still for me we are missing something in some areas especially in the electronics and on the engine side. Together, they are not working properly. In some areas it is difficult to understand why. The team need to fix this. Phillip Island there are some weak points here for us and last year we were fast and this year we are fast but we must work because in some areas we still do not feel comfortable.

Q: The engine is too aggressive? The bike is unstable?

Marc Marquez: The bike is not aggressive. It is a smooth engine. The power is normal… not very powerful but you know with the electronics and the connection of the gas, with the engine and rear wheel… still there I do not feel comfortable. Maybe it is also because we were using one type of engine during many many years and I was riding in one way. With this new engine, you have to change a little bit of the riding style but yes… still the connection with the gas, we are working hard to be ready and understand better. The strange thing is that the lap time is coming but still we need to improve maybe not the lap time but to be more comfortable.

Q: What have you had to change in your riding for this new engine?

Marc Marquez: In the end, the riding style is the same one because this is something that is so difficult to change but yes… one thing you have to do is understand how the engine works. The noise is different. You feel at times you are slow but then you need to be patient. It is many different things. There is more to change than the riding style. It is to understand how to ride the bike.

Q: Is the problem more in the slower corners or faster corners?

Marc Marquez: Everywhere there is a little bit. In Malaysia we had this problem. The problem is the same character at Sepang and here. This is also a positive thing because one corner you have a problem, then the next you have a problem… then it can be confusing. The good thing is that the problem we have is the same in the corners. I know that we must be patient because many things are new and they need time. For that reason, I am just riding, trying to provide as much information to my team as possible and the most important thing is to arrive at the race in Qatar at 100%.

Marc Marquez’s comments to the media on the final day: “I’m very happy with how it went today because we improved a lot, especially in the afternoon, even if I did my best lap time in the morning. In the end I felt much more comfortable and it seems that yesterday’s long runs were useful for improving the electronics and getting closer to the level we wanted to reach. Overall, I think it has been three very positive days, and we did a good job. Of course we shouldn’t forget that this circuit is quite particular, and in Qatar we’ll see where we really are.”

On Saturday 25th February, Marc Marquez and fellow teammate Dani Pedrosa completed a one-day private test at Jerez. Marquez feels as though this time on track at Jerez was productive. He spoke to the media: “Today was a productive day, as we were able to do many laps and to work on our bike well. We did most of the work we had planned, which is good. I crashed in the afternoon and dislocated my shoulder, but luckily it was nothing serious. Now I’ll have some rest back at home and get ready for the next test, in Qatar.”

Finally, the data obtained from Phillip Island and Jerez will be sent back to Japan for analysis in preparation for the next test at Qatar in around two weeks time. The excitement and lead up to round one is increasing day by day!

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

About The Author

Sienna Wedes
PR Communications

Sienna manages all FORMULA Magazine social media platforms covering news on a daily basis with higher emphasis during MotoGP rounds. She coordinates specific interviews with race engineers and chief mechanics. Growing up in a motorsport family Sienna understands the sport and what the supporters and fans enjoy.