Marc Marquez says moans about Honda's MotoGP bike aren't mind games

Marc Marquez insists his complaints about the Honda MotoGP bike are not mind games, despite his strong testing times

Marc Marquez says moans about Honda's MotoGP bike aren't mind games

The reigning world champion was fastest on day one at Phillip Island this week, before completing 107 laps and lapping second quickest to Maverick Vinales' Yamaha on Thursday.

Marquez's pace and consistent long runs have prompted Valentino Rossi to describe him as the pre-season favourite, but Marquez remains adamant Honda's revised engine is not working in harmony with the control electronics.

Asked if the disparity between his assessment and Rossi's opinion of Honda's potential meant he was playing mind games, Marquez replied: "I don't play games. If I was ready, I wouldn't do 107 laps. My hands are sore!

"We are very consistent, this is true. But today Maverick was faster than us, not only on one lap. His pace was really good.

"If I already felt on the limit, I'd say I was already on the limit. I'm quite fast, but still there is something I don't understand.

"I feel quite good on the bike but then I pass the line and I see the lap time. It's coming but we are missing something."

Marquez added that trying Michelin's latest tyres was being pushed down the priority list because Honda was still unhappy with its bike's basic performance.

"Today I tried the front ones, but the rear ones I didn't try because I didn't have time," he said.

"The main priority for us was the two long runs in the end, because they needed to check many, many, many things, as we are trying to find what the problem is with the electronics and the engine."

Marquez is working without his regular crew chief this week, as illness has prevented Santi Hernandez travelling to Australia.

"It's difficult. When people are here, it looks natural. When you are missing somebody you start to believe this person is important!" Marquez joked.

"The good thing is we have a really good group. Santi is at home now, but he's always in contact. He doesn't sleep a lot in the nights!

"But we have a good group. HRC staff are helping me and we are trying to manage well."

ILLNESS ALSO RETRICTS PEDROSA

Marquez's Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa sat out much of Thursday's running due to a fever.

"Unfortunately since yesterday I felt a bit strange, and last night wasn't good," Pedrosa said.

"This morning was even worse, I couldn't have breakfast, and I was feeling [like I had] no power, my stomach wasn't good. I didn't eat really until 2 o'clock this afternoon.

"In the afternoon I did some laps slowly. I didn't want to push a lot because I didn't eat for many hours.

"Now I feel better than yesterday afternoon, I hope tonight goes better and I can be in better shape tomorrow."

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