Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez ends the Phillip Island test a happy man after Honda made a breakthrough with their new ‘big-bang-style’ engine on Friday.
HRC introduced an updated version of the ‘big-bang-style’ motor in Sepang, but the traction problems of 2016 were still prevalent due to the electronics not working properly with the engine.
Honda improved the electronics for Phillip Island, and though Marquez was able to post some seriously quick lap times during the first two days he still complained that the engine wasn’t behaving correctly when he wound up the throttle.
Having done 107 laps yesterday using different electronic set-ups, Honda were able to use that data to begin to move the bike in the right direction. Admitting that it may not be perfect yet, Marquez says it is at least better than it was.
“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,” Marquez, who turned 24 today, said.
“In the end I felt much more comfortable and it seems the electronics are getting closer to the level we wanted to reach.
“Everyday I was telling (the team) the same, we are missing something on the electronics, on the engine. But today, especially in the afternoon, we improved quite a lot. In the morning we did a big change and we spent a lot of time to try big things.
“But then in the afternoon we concentrated more on our base and tried to work on these problems. Nearly every exit the lap time was coming better and better because I felt better on the bike.
“It looks like (the team) starts to understand what I want with this engine. Still it’s not what I want, but it’s getting better and better.”
Marquez completed 96 laps of the 2.7-mile Australian circuit on Friday, and set the second best time of the week with a 1m28.843s. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa was just a couple of tenths behind in third.