Marquez and Fellow RCV Riders Focus on New Electronics
Credit: Honda Worldwide Feb 2016
Former World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) was Honda’s top performer in fifth place at the first pre-season tests of the year, conducted at the challenging Sepang circuit outside the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
- Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa
- Marc Marquez
This three-day test session was arguably the most important MotoGP testing outing for many years, because the class has undergone several crucial technical changes, which has given riders and teams plenty of work to do before the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix on 20th March
The two most significant changes are a switch from Bridgestone tires to Michelins and from tailor-made factory electronics to a unified software, so all the riders have the same electronics at their disposal.
The changes have required riders to learn new riding techniques to cope with the different characteristics of machines and tires, while also requiring engineers to adjust the machines by changing bike balance and so one.
Following this three-day session the work continues at Phillip Island, Australia, later this month and then at Losail, Qatar, shortly before the 2016 MotoGP World Championship commences.
Marquez announced himself happy with progress after riding many, many laps in the stifling tropical heat. His main focus was adapting the new electronics to suit the RC213V engine, while also trying two slightly different spec engines and working to adapt his spectacular riding technique to the different demands of the Michelin slicks.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda RC213V) put in a superb lap time at the very end of the third day, bettering Marquez before the 2013/2014 MotoGP world champ reasserted himself in fifth. Like the factory RC213V rider, Crutchlow spent most of the three days acquainting himself with the unified software. He started the test with a 2015-spec bike and only this afternoon tried a 2016-spec engine. He immediately bettered his lap time to end up sixth overall
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) spent a useful three days focusing on settings, rather than chasing out-and-out lap times. Like his team-mate he worked very hard with his HRC crew to learn as much as possible about the unified software, both from performance and set-up points of view. The former 250 and 125 World Champion slid off on Tuesday afternoon while trying hard-compound tires.
Reigning Moto2 champ Tito Rabat, EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda had a fruitful test on his RC213V, learning plenty about the machine, despite two tumbles of the final day. Like all his fellow Honda riders he is anxious to resume testing in Australia on 17th February.
- Marc Marquez
- Dani Pedrosa
- Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 5th, 2m 843s
- “Today we made some progress, especially with my rhythm over many laps, because one good lap time doesn’t matter. We made progress, although the rain in the middle of the day stopped things for everyone. Most importantly the bike makes it a little easier to keep up the pace but we are still far from where we want to be. To me it looks like the main problem is the electronics – we are still too far from the correct level. Maybe last November we started by choosing the wrong way, but now we are working the correct way. I am always positive and I think we will be much closer than this by the last test. The positive thing is that we have already reduced the gap and we still have many things to try.”
- Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda: 6th, 2m 0.899s
- “I’m generally happy with the three days we’ve done because we did what we needed to do. We had so many things to test and luckily Honda gave us a 2016 engine to test in the afternoon today. It’s not the very latest spec that Dani and Marc have used here but I was very pleased to use it and I did my best lap with it. I think I gave HRC some good feedback because the engine has some very good points and a few negatives. I never pushed that hard for a lap time so I’m optimistic we could’ve gone faster. Our main thing is improving the electronics. LCR have done a good job on that and HRC are working hard.”
- Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: 11th, 2m 01.161s
- “It’s been a tough few days because we did a lot of work on the bike and although we cannot yet show our full potential we tried a lot of the things we’ve been working on and all of that improved the bike. Overall I’m happy with my feeling with the bike and with our work. At the moment I feel we are losing most of the time on the exit of the corners. But everything is new for us – only the chassis and the riders are not new! – so we must adapt as quickly as we can because the first race is not so far away.”
- Tito Rabat, EG 0,0 Marc VDS: 17th, 2m 02.328s
- “Yesterday we struggled to find a good feeling with the hard rear tire, so that was the focus for today. We made quite big changes to the bike and the feeling was better, which was reflected in the lap time. The crash at turn five was strange, because I was on an out-lap, not pushing, but the front just went away and down I went. We returned to the track with the spare bike to test a few more things, but the track conditions had deteriorated and I went down again in the final turn. After that we decided to stop, because the conditions weren’t going to improve. I am physically tired after three days on the MotoGP bike, but already I’m looking forward to getting back on the Honda RC213V at Phillip Island, where I hope we can continue to improve.”
Combined Standings Days 1-2-3
|1||Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)|
|2||Danilo PETRUCCI (Octo Pramac Yakhnich)|
|3||Hector BARBERA (Avintia Racing)|
|4||Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)|
|5||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|6||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda)|
|7||Scott REDDING (Octo Pramac Yakhnich)|
|8||Andrea IANNONE (Ducati Team)|
|9||Casey STONER (Ducati Team)|
|10||Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|11||Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)|
|12||Maverick VIÑALES (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|13||Aleix ESPARGARO (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|14||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Aspar MotoGP Team)|
|15||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|16||Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|17||Tito RABAT (EG 0.0 Marc VDS)|
|18||Stefan BRADL (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|19||Loris BAZ (Avintia Racing)|
|20||Katsuyuki NAKASUGA (Yamaha Test Team)|
|21||Alvaro BAUTISTA (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|22||Michele PIRRO (Ducati Team)|
|23||Eugene LAVERTY (Aspar MotoGP Team)|