Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was at sea until the final day of the last MotoGP pre-season test at Qatar when crew chief Santi Hernandez turned the setup of his RC213V on its head and the former champion finally got some of the old magic back.
The two-time champion had been off the pace in Malaysia and Australia but found that in those final hours at a track where HRC’s finest hasn’t always had the best of times, he was able to lap as fast as Jorge Lorenzo by following the Yamaha man and on his own.
"Honestly, I'm very happy, because we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I went back to having a good feeling on the bike, and even though I crashed I know why it happened. We have made some big changes that have allowed me to start gaining confidence, riding at a good pace both behind Jorge and alone. It is still not enough, and we need to improve more, but I have much more confidence for the race,” said the little Spaniard.
“We did a big step forward with the setup at the very end of the test, and I really felt at ease with the bike, especially in my last run that was quite late in the evening, with the dew already starting to form. That’s positive in view of the race, even if we’re not yet where we’d like to be and still have a margin for improvement with the setup.
“The Losail layout may not be the most favourable of the season for our bike, but in the past we’ve scored a podium and a win here with the RC213V, so we’ll fight to get the best result on Sunday. This year there are a few variables that aren’t yet completely predictable, such as tyre wear at race distance, for example, and the bike’s behaviour with the new electronics.”
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