Marc Marquez admits his crash out of the lead of the Argentinian Grand Prix shows Honda’s MotoGP bike is still not where he wants it to be.
Honda has revamped its engine again in 2017, including adopting a new firing order, in a bid to eradicate the acceleration deficit its riders have endured in recent years.
Pairing the new engine to MotoGP’s control electronics remains a work in progress, with Honda riders having to try to make up lost time under braking.
Marquez built an early lead at Termas de Rio Hondo before losing the front end under braking and crashing on lap four, with teammate Dani Pedrosa having an almost-identical fall later in the race.
While Marquez was at a loss to explain his crash, he said it showed the Honda was “not ready” to be ridden in the natural, aggressive style that took him two his first two MotoGP titles in 2013 and ’14.
“[Honda riders] take the risk in the point where we don’t have any control, the braking point,” he said. "For that reason, maybe Honda riders have crashed many times at this part of the season.
“In Argentina I tried to take some risks, because I felt really good, able to win the race. But what I saw is that we are not ready.
"The feeling is strong but still we are not ready 100 percent to take that risk. I need to have even more the [conservative] 2016 mentality.”
"We will arrive soon"
Marquez is eighth in the championship after his Argentina crash, having finished fourth in the Qatar season opener.
That means he is 37 points behind Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales ahead of this weekend’s race in Austin, where Marquez has never been beaten.
Targeting a podium this weekend to kickstart his campaign rather than a ninth win from nine starts in the USA, Marquez feels that Honda’s overall performance level is good, as work continues.
“From one circuit to the other one, Qatar to Argentina in this case, we changed a lot of stuff,” he said.
“When you change the set-up, you are looking always at best lap time, but also the feeling of the limit can change also a little bit, to find it.
“We are working, Honda is working really hard and I think we will arrive soon.
“The pre-season has been really strong, but we had many hours there to set up the bike on the winter test. Now the race weekend is different, but we are quite close.
“I crashed in Argentina but I was leading the race. This is the most important thing and it is what I feel.”