1st races ‘almost like tests’ for Marquez, Honda | MotoGP

Marc Marquez and Honda may have made a last-minute breakthrough at the end of MotoGP pre-season testing in Qatar, but they still need to do ‘a bit of a reset and come up with a new plan’ for the delayed season-opener at Jerez.

Following the coronavirus shutdown, the Spanish circuit is awaiting the green light from the government to hold two successive MotoGP rounds on July 19 and 24.

Marquez’s crew chief Santi Hernandez feels the first of those events and perhaps also the second will be ‘like new tests’ as the Repsol Honda team plots a revised course after winter cornering problems were traced to the latest aerodynamics.

“A little of what worries us is that after the Qatar Test, we tried a lot of things during that weekend, we had an awful lot of problems, and in the end we came up with an answer to solve the problems. But, logically, you can’t forget that for us this pre-season was a bit complicated because a lot of things that we tried, it’s not that they didn’t work, it wasn’t because of those improvements but rather because of the aerodynamics and now we have to do a bit of a reset and come up with a new plan,” Hernandez told the official MotoGP website.

“For us, the first race, and even the second, are going to be almost like new tests. You have to try to evaluate what will be the best base to start the first race with and especially to end up understanding and confirming that what we tried in Qatar on the last day was the right way to go.

“What worries us a bit is especially the engine braking, the brake points, trying to get more grip, the confidence with the front end… these are things we struggled with in the pre-season.”

Part of the solution in Qatar was a switch back to the 2019 aerodynamics. It will therefore be interesting to see if the 2019 Honda fairing has duly been homologated again for this year, or if a hybrid version of the 2019 and troublesome 2020 design has been chosen.

“On the last day [in Qatar], we realised that for some reason we had veered from the path a bit,” Hernandez added.

“The fact that we took a step back made us see things positively and I think that is the most important thing, but it won’t be easy because we haven’t had a normal pre-season, just because of Marc’s injury and the problems we had, it wasn’t easy.”

As part of the Jerez proposal, all MotoGP teams will get a day of testing at the circuit on the Wednesday prior to the opening race weekend.

“For us, being able to do a one day test before the Championship starts will be very important, mostly to confirm the feeling we had in Qatar was correct and that it wasn’t just a fluke… From then on, we’ll surely have to improve a lot of things but the most important will be going out on the first day at Jerez and getting the good feeling we had on that last day in Qatar.

“It would be very positive because he’ll want to say that the path we chose, in that last minute before…

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Read More: 1st races ‘almost like tests’ for Marquez, Honda | MotoGP 2020-05-26 08:51:48

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