MotoGP star Marc Marquez says the addition of aerodynamic winglets to the front fairing of his Repsol Honda will not solve the handling issues he is chasing to fix in pre-season testing.
The two-time world champion was ninth fastest on the second day of testing at Qatar, with only one day remaining before the season opening race weekend on March 20.
Having admitted yesterday he had lost confidence in the bike’s handling, Marquez said that the aero additions he tried would not cure his woes.
“I didn’t feel a big, big difference – I mean, the wings will not fix our problems,” said Marquez. “I tried only one run at the end, when track was more slippery.
Of course our wings at the moment are really small, so it’s difficult to feel a difference.
“We only used them for one four-lap stint, so there will be further research and development. It is only the first prototype. Tomorrow we will try to take another step forward.”
Teammate Dani Pedrosa also tried the wings, and said: “Obviously there is a different feeling. There are some positive and some negative.”
Closer to the pace
Marquez was however upbeat about set-up changes, which moved him closer to the front-running pace. He was 0.4s slower than Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales.
“The important thing is that we improved the turning of the bike today, and the pace was really good," he said.
"But it didn’t matter if I used new tyres or old tyres, always I’m struggling a lot there – so with a new tyre and a tyre that’s done 25 laps, I do the same laptime.
“We have improved the feeling when cornering – the bike turns in a little more – and that has allowed us to lower our times slightly, but we still have some problems exiting corners.”