Honda is playing with a three-man offence. In addition to Marquez and Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow is also working on development of the 2017 bike and specifically on the engine. Even if the engineers will not admit anything, HRC has put their money on an irregular combustion engine that requires a different sort of fine-tuning than the previous one.
“We are using the newer spec engine again in Australia - confirms the team LCR rider - and and it is taking a little bit of getting used to for all the riders at the moment, but we are happy with Honda’s work and I’m happy with the way the team worked today. It’s the same engine configuration we were testing in Malaysia, and we have found some positive things and some negative things.”
According to the Briton, it is still early to draw conclusions.
“At the moment that’s proving a difficult balance because we are trying different things to the factory team – they are trying one programme and we are trying another and maybe we will be able to help each other out in that way. It wasn’t too bad a day’s testing today - he comments on his 5th place time - We had a lot of small things that we needed to fix on the bike, and that meant lots of short runs in and out of the pit complex, which cost us a bit of time, but overall I’m pleased with our pace.”
However, the job is far from done.
“We still have another two days of testing left, where we hope we can improve - he points out - We had some more things we wanted to try today but didn’t manage to get done, however I felt good riding the bike and felt at ease. We know what I and the team are capable of doing around this circuit, and I feel that if we had the race again tomorrow we would be in a similar position. I’m happy with that, but we still need to work hard because I still think we can have a better feeling with this bike.”