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Old 11-27-2015, 08:31 PM   #1
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MotoGP Jerez test: Repsol Honda enter 2016 with more questions than answers

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez suffered two crashes on the final day of the three-day post-season Jerez MotoGP test, and enters 2016 with a lot of doubts that need to be addressed.

The Repsol Honda Team finished the first part of the 2016 preseason in Jerez knowing that there was still a lot of work to be done with the bike they will race next season; especially with the new electronics. Something that was already clear during the previous test in Valencia, but after three days at the Jerez test, those concerns have multiplied.

Marc Marquez, who suffered two crashes in today’s session, produced a best lap of 1:39.17 after completing 67 laps (1.38.300 was his qualifying time at the last Spanish GP). Marquez crashed first in the left-hand Turn 3 after losing the rear. Later in the afternoon, he lost the front in the right-hand Turn 1. Teammate Dani Pedrosa’s best attempt was 1:39.93 after 70 laps.

I was pushing, accelerating, and suddenly the bike lost the rear violently and I flew.“Yes, I crashed twice”, explained Marquez once the test was done. “The first was very strange, nothing like that has happened to me before. We have to analyze what happened with the new electronics. I was pushing, accelerating, and suddenly the bike lost the rear violently and I flew. Fortunately I didn’t get hurt.” Marquez was comparing engines, the 2015 and 2016 versions, and in his words, “I was riding at the limit trying really to compare both, but the edge of the Michelin tires is very dangerous; even more if you look for it."

“We did a good test, gathering a lot of information, but this engine, which is more powerful, is still far from being at a usable level. It has potential, but the engineers have to work on it during the winter so we can arrive prepared at the first race of next year."

Dani Pedrosa finished the Jerez test almost a second behind Marquez, and was still trying to get the electronics sorted before his team can even approach understanding the tires and 2016 prototype engine.

Meanwhile, the experienced Pedrosa explained that the added complication of new electronics, new tires, and different bikes makes it difficult to find the right direction. “But today we were able to do long runs with the two different bikes, so we have some things a little bit more clear. But nothing is decided yet, and we have to study how to face next year. We need to keep progressing because the new electronics confuse us quite a lot. Not knowing the electronics and how they manage the power, it’s very difficult to get the information to you need for the tire, for the rear suspension and for riding.”

Marquez and Pedrosa’s quotes demonstrate clear concerns by the HRC riders. Valentino Rossi’s warnings regarding what new rules plus a new tire supplier would mean are being realized. The electronics are clearly the biggest issue in this moment. Riders are face to face with situations that normally are reserved for test riders. Marquez’s inexplicable first crash is an example of it…and just how complicated it all is.

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