Valencia MotoGP: Marc Marquez will test the Honda 2023 “concept”, “Pecco deserves the title” | MotoGP

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When the red lights went out, Marquez became aware of a technical problem with his RCV, which forced him to press harder and harder on the brakes.

After slipping from second to third on the opening lap, the Repsol Honda rider was passed by Jack Miller on lap 6 before finally crashing out on lap 10 of 27.

“I’m happy to finish the season because it was a strange season, first on the personal-professional side with the injury, but also because with the bike we had some difficulties,” said Marquez.

“We had too many problems, today we had another problem in the race and we have to understand why. It’s so hard to have a problem-free weekend. If you want to fight for a championship, you have to be consistent in all aspects.

“Already from the start I realized there was a problem. Because if you look at my starts throughout the year, I always start well. But today I lost positions and I I immediately felt something.

“The couple was not the same as in training. Then when I get to the club [afterwards] and they analyzed, they understood the problem.

“I was fourth in the race. I saw this every time I walked away from the podium and at one point I said ‘ok, go’. But I braked too late. When you brake too late, you can save time on a lap, or two, or three. But 27 laps pushing, you have a big chance of losing the front.

Marquez thus ends his third consecutive season interrupted by injury in 13th place in the world championship, with a podium in his 12 starts, but still the best Honda rider.

The 29-year-old now has the day off before the focus shifts fully to 2023 with a day of official post-race testing in Valencia on Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to Tuesday – I know it’s not a huge step what I have on Tuesday. It’s not the last. But it’s the first philosophy, the first step. So I have hurry [to see] if it is good for the future.

Pressed further on the details of the prototype bike he will be riding, Marquez added:

“I don’t know exactly… I know it’s a different chassis, maybe a little difference in the balance of the bike. The engine I don’t know if they changed or not for this test.

“But let’s see, I know this is the first concept bike for 2023.”

Marquez: It’s so hard to stop the bike

While the specific changes may not be clear, Marquez knows exactly where he wants progress to be made.

“Above all, we have to understand how to properly stop the bike on the brakes. It’s so hard to stop. Then we stop the bike too much on the last part [of braking]and that means risk.

“As soon as you ride alone, you can more or less manage. But when you’re in a group, then it’s very difficult to fight with this bike.

“Because of that, I crashed today, Alex crashed, Pol crashed. Lots of crashes from Honda riders all season.

“So you have to understand how to stop the bike properly in a straight line because it’s the best way to have less risk. And above all you also have to understand how to improve the engine because in 5th and 6th gear you lose too much.

“If you have a good engine and you gain half a tenth on the straight, you can brake a bit earlier, because you don’t need to push a lot. But even so, braking, stopping in a straight line is where we need to improve a lot.

This shortcoming also explains why Marquez achieved his best result of the season at Phillip Island and qualified on the front row at Valencia.

“As soon as we get to a circuit where we don’t have a lot of straight-line stops, we are fast. Like Australia and here,” Marquez said.

“This weekend I was losing a lot in sector 1 because you had the stop for turn 1 and turn 2. In all other sectors I was fast. So that means the weak point is there.

“For me, it’s [about] bike balance. I mean, if you don’t have the rear wheel on the ground, you don’t know if the engine brake is working well or not! You saw the photos in Malaysia with the rear wheel [in the air]. So we have to improve there.

“Pecco deserves it”

Marquez will be one of four MotoGP champions on next year’s starting grid, with Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia sealing his first premier class title on Sunday.

The Italian was 91 points behind defending champion Fabio Quartararo after Sachsenring but caught and passed the Yamaha rider to win the world championship by a margin of 17 points.

“I have total respect for Pecco. He’s a great rider. He’s won in Moto2. He’s won a lot of races this year. For me his race in Malaysia was amazing because with all that pressure and getting to beat [to win] until the end is something that you respect a lot as a pilot.

“In the end, they found the best package, the [Ducati] team and Pecco. It’s true that from my point of view, Ducati was in front compared to Yamaha and the other manufacturers because we see a lot of Ducati riders in front.

“But anyway, not everything is ‘green’. They also have problems. But I want to congratulate Pecco because he has won many races and he deserves it.

Tuesday’s practice will also see Marquez joined by new teammate Joan Mir, who finished sixth in his last race for Suzuki.

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