Late night at Honda. And even if they'll only be taking stock during the Qatar GP, it now seems clear that the they have some big fish to fry in Tokyo with the new RC213-V. The most important wake-up call comes from Marc Marquez who, although not at his physical best, still "rejected" the new bike using the 2019 one "to take a step forward". Cal Crutchlow, who dropped in rankings and held an 18th time yesterday, also added to what the world champion - who has repeatedly complained of not being able to push as he wishes - had to say.
"Yesterday my fall was not easy to deal with," Crutchlow said after getting off the bike at the end of the third and final day of testing on the Losail circuit. "The side I fell on turned entirely blu, so I bought an ice machine on Amazon yesterday, and I put on a compression bandage. This morning, that entire area was really smaller this morning," he said laughing. "During the first 10 laps, I really felt a lot of pain, but then it improved, and I was able to ride without any particular physical problem."
But it seems as if you encountered problems on the bike anyway. An 18th time but, above all, your expressions in the pit-box were not reassuring. What kind of day did you have, Cal?
"Today I continued my work on the 2020 bike. It was hard for me and the whole team because the lap times don't reassure us, even if I have to say that I found positive aspects on this bike, but also other negative ones. It's a bike that gives you strange sensations, especially when you're trying a fast lap with regards to grip."
"You never have the same sensations when it comes to grip . You feel like you're slipping at one point and, right after, you feel like you have too much grip. It's really strange."
Do these sensations also influence the flying lap?
"I want to be faster. My best time today was with 10-lap old tires, and this is not good. With the new medium, I got 1.55.8 and, after 20 laps, 1.55.5. It seems like you're going faster with the more worn tires. You do slip more, that's true, but you enter corners faster."
Did you also find other problems and, above all, did you get an idea on whether or not you have to fix the bike?
"The problem is that, when I brake hard, I struggle in mid-corner. I have an idea of what that is, but I don't know if it'll be easy to fix. We'll see if we can do it. We've had these issues for some time now."