Marquez: Difficult day, 2019 Honda feeling good

Marc Marquez battles the weather and his injured left shoulder on the opening day of the post-Valencia MotoGP test.
Marquez: Difficult day, 2019 Honda feeling good

Marc Marquez has been battling both weather conditions and his injured left shoulder which restrained his progress on the opening day of the post-Valencia MotoGP test.

The Repsol Honda rider, who is without development ally Cal Crutchlow due to injury while Dani Pedrosa begins his racing retirement, headed up the Honda developments as Jorge Lorenzo got to grips with the RC213V.



But for the reigning MotoGP world champion his own gains were hampered by his ongoing left shoulder injury, which he hurt twice over the Valencia race weekend in crashes, plus tricky track conditions starting wet in the morning before the rain returned for the final 90 minutes of track activity.

Consequently, Marquez felt unable to fully utilise Honda’s offerings with two different 2019-specification bikes plus his 2018 machine having completed just 25 laps on day one.

“I started with the current bike but immediately we swapped to the new bikes because we have a different specification between the two black bikes,” Marquez explained. “We tried only one because when I started to ride with the other one, it started to rain and then we stopped.

“Difficult day, difficult to understand where we are, but the positive thing is that the first feeling with the new bike was good.

“I already tried it back in Aragon, in the test, so we had more or less a base setup but still we have many things to try. I do not think we will have enough time tomorrow to try everything but we have also an important test in Jerez.

“I’m not riding 100%, for short runs is not a big problem but of course I’m one of the riders that I like to be all the time on the track. I was one of the riders that was less time on the track because the shoulder is not 100% and of course the priority is my physical condition and then try the new things.”

Pressed on where he’s keen to find Honda’s most important improvements with the 2019 bikes, Marquez pinpointed familiar areas, torque, along with one which has restrained all Hondas throughout this season.

“All the riders if you ask them would say if we could have more torque is better because on the straight it’s free time,” he said. “But then especially now we are working more on the specification of the engine.

“But also we are trying to understand the front part of the bike, with the front tyre because we need to use all the time the hard tyres and try to change that style but it will be difficult.

“Okay, it’s a critical bike but we are winning, so we need to change step by step so we don’t lose the way.”

Marquez has been aided by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl, who continues to fill in at LCR Honda for Crutchlow, while Takaaki Nakagami also became familiar with the 2019-specificaiton Honda in Valencia.

Marquez ended day one of the Valencia test second fastest with a best lap of 1m 31.716s, 0.302s off timesheet-topper Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha, and almost three-tenths off his own qualifying time from the race weekend.