Marc Marquez set the pace on Friday at Phillip Island but it wasn't a perfect day for the Spaniard with the stitches in his injured left hand having split open during the session. The reigning world champion was narrowly faster than Lorenzo and afterwards he said that it was a good day.
“Today was a good day, we enjoyed and we improved the set-up, which was the most important," said Marquez. "We did the correct steps and decide,” he said. Still, tomorrow, we must improve a lot because it looks like Yamaha riders, especially Jorge, are really fast, so we are trying to work harder to understand well.
"I think everybody is struggling [for rear grip], but the thing is that during the season we are struggling always so here we are used to these slides but at the moment the rear grip is where we are trying to fix. Already last year the grip was not there and even if it is colder, steering is more difficult and this is normal. I think for the qualifying practice and also for the race, the Open bikes can be closer at this circuit because we cannot use the power because we are sliding a lot, so Suzuki and some Open bikes can be close.”
Rear grip has been a constant issue for the Honda riders throughout the season and once again this weekend it's a clear concern with Scott Redding, Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow all also complaining of a lack of grip. For Marquez the issue was prevalent but he hopes that tampering the electronics could tame the RC213v.
“Basically it's more difficult [on this year's bike] to fix; when everything is fixed you can be competitive but at the moment we struggling at other circuits with sliding on the entry and the aggressive torque on the exit, but we are trying to adjust the electronics.”