Honda star Marc Marquez said an electronics issue affected the handling of his bike in the opening practice session of the season in Qatar, making it “not predictable” compared to how he ended pre-season testing.
The two-time champion ended the session eighth fastest, over 0.8s off the pace of Yamaha’s reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo.
“We didn’t have the best start of the season,” said Marquez, “because we had a small problem – we changed some parameters on the electronics and we expected a very small effect but it was very big on the bike. The feeling was much different.
“For that reason, I couldn’t find the way for the laptime. I did two laps, stop, one lap, stop, one lap more… I felt strange on the bike and we will try to fix for tomorrow.”
When pressed if the problem was the engine braking, Marquez replied: “We cannot say one point, because [it] was more that the engine was not constant.
“One lap you arrive, and the engine braking was good and then the acceleration was good, then the next lap it was completely out.
“It was more that it was not constant, the bike, and then you cannot predict what will happen.
“We arrived here with a good base but still not 100 percent with the electronic side. We must work, but I believe that on Sunday we will have a good package.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont