Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez has identified that two Yamaha riders and the factory Suzuki men look like the pretenders to his throne after a new Michelin rear tyre appeared to favour one riding style over another.
Marquez, who finished the test only four-tenths off the pace despite still being injured, believes the tyre has altered the way some bikes will need to be setup - intimating it isn’t so so good for the Honda.
“It looks like this new Michelin rear tyre changes the balance of the bike and this changes also some parametres on the electronics,” said Marquez.
“It has better grip and when you gain rear grip the balance can change: the electronics and also a little bit the riding style. Some bikes will adapt better, some worse…”
At the moment it looks like the Yamaha riders – Quartararo and Vinales – and the Suzuki riders – both Mir and Rins – are the strongest ones.”
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow ended the test in second but only managed ten sub’2’00 laps on Sunday. Marquez put in 13 while Yamaha-mounted Maverick Vinales did 28 - but he wasn’t allowed to go for an outright fastest lap. Alex Rins did 26.
Marquez was also working on nailing down an engine spec as the factory is running out of time before the first race.
“We are also focussing on the engine side at this test because we know in one month in Qatar we cannot change it any more,” he said.
“The main character is very similar from last year. It looks like we maybe have a bit more top speed, more acceleration. But at the moment we’re working a lot on the entry of the corner because last year we were struggling with a kind of pushing. We are working there.”