Marquez says Honda acceleration now worse than Suzuki

Marc Marquez says Honda has now slipped behind Suzuki as the worst performing MotoGP bike on the grid when it comes to acceleration, barring Aprilia.

Marquez says Honda acceleration now worse than Suzuki
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: third place Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
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Top speed and acceleration were widely regarded as Suzuki's weak points when it rejoined the championship last season, but the Japanese marque has made considerable improvement on both fronts in 2016 with the introduction of a seamless-shift gearbox and upgraded engine.

Maverick Vinales secured Suzuki's first premier class podium for eight years last weekend at Le Mans, while Marquez crashed trying to make up for his Honda's weak acceleration with a front-end washout.

And while the RC213V's deficiencies have been well-documented, Marquez believes the improvements Suzuki has made over the winter mean it is now ahead of Honda in the acceleration stakes.

"The problem is, under acceleration, we are losing a lot," Marquez told media after the race. "If we improve the acceleration, we will have one of the best bikes.

"It's hard - on the straights the time is free, and it's difficult for your mentality when you can't follow people on the straight. We will have this for the next two races minimum.

"We know where we need to improve, but on the other hand it's difficult in the middle of the season because the engines are closed [sealed].

"If we made a ranking of acceleration, it would be: Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda."

Marquez added that he hoped progress would be made with acceleration during a test Honda has planned on the Monday after the Catalan Grand Prix at Barcelona.

"We will see, after Montmelo [Barcelona] we have a test on Monday," said the Spaniard. "I didn't speak with Honda but I expect something, I know they are working hard to improve acceleration.

"The power is there, but we can't use it."

Pedrosa frustrated by acceleration weakness

Pedrosa was the only one of Honda's five-strong contingent to stay upright all race at Le Mans, finishing fourth behind the two Yamahas and Vinales' Suzuki.

Speaking to media after the race, the 30-year-old said that the Honda's poor acceleration kept him stuck behind slower rivals for too long to be a factor at the front.

"I tried to push but I lost so much time under acceleration," Pedrosa said. "I had in front the two satellite Yamahas and the two Suzukis, and on every exit I lost two or three tenths.

"I could make up a lot of time under braking, so I just went backwards and forwards for many laps.

"By the time the fuel tank emptied a bit and there was a little bit more grip, a big part of the race had already gone and the field was stretched out too much. 

"To make up the gap to the front is almost impossible. At some stage I think my pace was similar to Rossi, or even faster, but by then it's already too late."

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