One of the hot stories after the Sepang test last week was alleged continued problems with power management of the engines Honda bolts into its RC213V race bikes.
The troubles supposedly center around Honda’s continued trouble at matching its aggressive engine setup with the standard electronics that became mandatory in 2016. A report indicated Cal Crutchlow said at the test Honda is making improvements but remains “on the back foot.”
But the one Honda rider who doesn’t seem to be concerned about the pace of Honda’s progress is the one who matters the most – Marc Marquez.
Reigning World Champion Marquez was third-quickest overall at the Sepang test, just .138 of a second behind the Yamaha of leader Maverick Vinales. He thinks Honda is well ahead of the pace it set after the first preseason test last year.
“Last year here in this moment I didn’t understand anything,” Marquez told media. “Now we understand. We know where the problems are.”
Marquez indicated he also wants to see how his RC213V performs at the next test, Feb. 15-17 at Phillip Island, since that circuit is a power track with far fewer slow corners and different weather conditions than steamy Sepang.
Still, he didn’t sound that fussed at Sepang. And considering Marquez clinched his third premier-class World Championship with three races remaining last season on a bike which had balky power management, maybe it’s time to start playing the theme from “Jaws” when considering Marquez’s title chances this season.