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Marquez willing to “sacrifice” Australia MotoGP result to aid 2023 Honda development

Marc Marquez says he is willing to “sacrifice” a strong result at the MotoGP Australian Grand Prix to help Honda develop its 2023 bike.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The six-time world champion’s return last month from a fourth major arm operation is as much about getting himself into shape for 2023 as it is helping to steer development of next year’s Honda.

Trying several updates already since the Misano test, Marquez debuted a new aerodynamic package on Friday at Phillip Island which features a new front wing and sidepod design, as well as Ducati-style ‘stegosaurus’ rear winglets.

With Phillip Island’s anticlockwise layout and flowing nature putting less strain through his recovering right shoulder, Marquez has been tipped by many to deliver something strong for Honda this weekend.

But he says “we are in a moment that we are not looking for the best result” and was happy to sacrifice his own race preparations on Friday to trial Honda’s latest upgrades.

“Of course you sacrifice a bit,” he said when asked if he was willing sacrifice a strong race to try the new parts.

“For example, this afternoon when I went out with the hard front tyre it was because in the morning I started straight away with the medium front because I knew it was the best tyre to try the aerodynamics, because you go with the soft it becomes too soft.

“But then with the quantity of the tyres [we have for the weekend], for that reason I went with the hard front and of course it affected the set-up a bit.

“But now we are in a moment, in a point, that we are not looking for the best result of the weekend.

“Of course, I will try to do my 100% tomorrow and Sunday, but we need to understand also for the future and I push Honda a lot to make things to try. So, when I receive, I need to try.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez ran with the set-up he used in Thailand two weeks ago to back-to-back the new aero updates with the current package across FP1 and FP2 on Friday at Phillip Island.

Explaining where the new package is better, Marquez says at Phillip Island it makes the turning of the Honda less physically demanding – but concedes the true test of the update will be next week at Sepang.

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“The new fairing is a different feeling on the bike,” he added.

“[It’s] not better turning, because when I tried the other ones… but it looks like it’s less physical on this circuit.

“So, for me, it helps. But with the current aerodynamics I was able to be fast.

“In FP1 I did my best lap with the current one. In FP2, I worked more on the new ones.

“So, with both there is some positive and negatives. It’s true that here I will continue with the new ones because it’s better for my physical condition.

“But the true test will be in Malaysia, because here you don’t have long brake points, everything is flowing. So, the crucial test is Malaysia.”

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