Marquez: “Qatar we’ll see where we really are”

Marc Marquez believes the final MotoGP pre-season test at Losail next month will give a truer idea of the pecking order heading into the 2017 season. The reigning champion looked strong all week at Phillip Island but continues to trail Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, a common theme from the three tests so far in Valencia, Malaysia and Australia.

However, Marquez has pointed to the unique demands Phillip Island places on the bikes and expects the tough, technical Losail to provide the ultimate test in three weeks’ time.

“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. Today I had a funny present from my team, a magnifying glass; I know I’m quite persistent in asking to check the data to find the issues we had, and they told me to find it myself! I’m very thankful that HRC is putting in a lot of effort, and step-by-step we’re getting better. I’d like to wish all the best to my Crew Chief Santi [Hernandez], who wasn’t able to be here at Philip Island because of some medical checks. We all missed him and we’re looking forward to seeing him with us again at the next test!”

Marquez was second fastest, one place ahead of Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa who exceeded his own expectations at a circuit he claims doesn’t suit him.

“Overall I think it’s been a very positive test, especially considering that this isn’t one of my favourite tracks. I was riding quite well and I think we improved day by day. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well but today I felt a bit better and we were able to do a good job on the track. The team has worked very well. We focused again on electronics and on the setup of the bike, and the only thing we missed was a long run, as we ran out of time. Michelin have also made some good steps forward with the tyres. All in all, we can say we’re heading in the right direction, even if we still have some work to do.”