After the opening day of testing at Jerez Marc Marquez said that "every day is an interesting day for us now because there is so much to learn." With new electronics, new tyres and a new engine to evaluate Marquez has plenty to work through during the final test of the year but felt that Honda were making progress.
"We started today with our 2015 electronics so that we could use them as a reference point and then we started to work on the Magneti Marelli," said Marquez. "The Michelin tyres are also a big compromise for us to understand how we can ride them at the limit at the moment. We did a few laps to try and understand all these things but we also had the new engine to try too."
The aggressive nature of the 2015 engine was blamed for much of Honda's failures this year and the new engine promises to be a step forward but there is still lots to understand about it. The engine was designed to smoothen the power delivery but with the less sophisticated electronics package in use for 2016 it's still unknown whether there has been an improvement from the engine.
"The new engine has a new character and the feeling is similar to Valencia. We need to do more laps to fix the electronics because they are still far away from what we need. I think that everyone complained with this electronics because the engine is now more free when you open the gas. There's less controls on the engine to reduce the torque, reduce the bottom and top so we're working there to understand if it's possible to fix this with the electronics or if we need to spend time to improve this with the mechanical side to improve something with the engine."
It was a busy workload for the double MotoGP champion and he was constantly in and out of the garage in an attempt to get as much data as possible. The switch to the spec electronics and Michelin tyres have placed a lot of pressure on teams to find an early solution to the problem. With the factories having spent millions developing an exceptionally sophisticated system they are now spending their time using a comparatively rudimental piece of kit. This week's test is the last chance for the teams to get an understanding of the new parts before the 2016 season starts in earnest with the Sepang test next February.
"The electronics are still up and down for us but we're working on them. At Valencia they were definitely further away from what we need and here they are closer but you still feel that it's a step behind. You have to work hard to make sure that it is closer to the Honda software but it's going to be impossible to be the same as that software. We're working to understand this and how the traction control and engine braking works. It takes time to understand these changes because, like in Valencia, you go out for a few laps and then come back to the box to spend 30 minutes looking at the data to help the mapping. It takes time to understand the electronics.
"The biggest difference at the moment is when you're on the gas. From midcorner when you open the gas, through the corner exit and then when you're on the straight is where you feel the difference with the new electronics. Engine braking is more or less ok and working well but we need to spend our time understanding them when we get on the gas. This is where the time is coming because when you lose time on the acceleration it's very hard to make a fast laptime."