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MotoGP Australian GP

Marquez "cruising" in fast corners as Honda MotoGP woes continue

Marc Marquez has confessed he spent Friday practice "cruising" through Phillip Island's high-speed corners as his struggles aboard the recalcitrant Honda MotoGP bike continue.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marquez endured an eventful opening day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, as he crashed in both the opening practice session and again in the afternoon's second session, both times at the slow MG right-hander that follows Lukey Heights.
The Spaniard went into the weekend downplaying his chances of winning in any of his final races for Honda before he moves to Gresini Ducati next year, as he admitted he was short of confidence on the RC213V following his crashes last time out in Indonesia.
Marquez explained that his crashes came as a result of trying to push the limits through the slower corners, where the risks are lower, to make up for his lack of commitment through the faster segments of the track.
"I didn’t have confidence and that early crash in FP1 didn’t help," said Marquez after ending up a lowly 16th-fastest in FP2.
"Basically, I don’t have a lot of confidence, and there are faster corners. So on the fastest corners I am not pushing, I’m just cruising. I’m just pushing in the slow corners and it’s there where I am crashing, but that’s very safe.
"It’s just the fast corners, I don’t feel [good] at the moment."
Marquez was unusually beaten to the honour of being top Honda rider by LCR rider Alex Rins, who was 12th-fastest in FP2, but the six-time premier class champion was keen to downplay this.
"He is riding in a very different way but in a good way with this Honda," said Marquez of Rins, who won at Phillip Island last year riding for Suzuki. "But the level is quite close.
"I will compare [the data] just to understand, but the lap time is just one tenth [faster]. I followed someone, he followed someone else, so it’s not the way to do the lap time. On the race pace, we are similar."
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Marquez was positive about the decision to move the main race of the weekend to Saturday amid the threat of dangerously high winds on Sunday, but conceded that it will be more difficult to go straight into the 27-lap encounter from qualifying.

"It will not change a lot for the sprint, but for the main race it changes more because you have less time to understand the rear tyre," he said. "It will be more of a gamble because we still don’t know the tyre consumption."

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