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Santi Hernandez: ‘Marc has asked HRC for more grip’

Santi Hernandez: ‘Marc has asked HRC for more grip’

Speaking to Spain’s Movistar TV, Marc Marquez’s Crew Chief Santi Hernandez gave his thoughts on the 2015 preseason so far.

Marc Marquez ended the three days of testing at Sepang marking a superb 1'58.8 lap. Did you think he would go so fast?

"It was an incredible lap but the track was in a perfect condition. We saw how Lorenzo, Rossi and Dani lowered their times from last year, including their best laps ever there. The track conditions were good, and Marc took full advantage of the situation, but the work that had been done over the previous two days also helped. We expected a high 1’59 lap, like Lorenzo had done the day before, but we didn’t think about reaching 1’58, so that was amazing."

How important is it to leave a test having been the fastest rider there?

"We always say the same thing, being the fastest does not mean it was necessarily a positive test. For example we saw Ducati go very fast with the extra soft tyre, but that does not mean that they will be ahead in each race. Though it is also true that being fastest gives you a good feeling. It means the bike allows you to push to get the time. But more importantly at a test, especially in preseason and over three days, you can try things and understand what direction to take for the next test and especially for the championship."

How about the feelings on the used tyres and with the race simulation?

"We had a good feeling, because after Valencia we had a few problems that concerned us. At Sepang we tested different bikes with different settings and in the end the problems we had in Valencia have improved, but we still have things to tune up for the second test in Sepang. What is important to the HRC engineers is that Marc gives the right directions. We have realized that we must improve and that's the most important thing. Doing the simulation at the time of the race was also to see how Marc was physically. He wanted to know how he would feel in race conditions to also improve his fitness."

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the 2015 RC213V?

"Like last year, the best point is the braking, especially on corner entry, but we still need to improve cornering and especially the exit, in order to have more grip. With the rear is where we struggle more, especially on fast corners, where the Yamaha is better, as we saw last year at this circuit. But Honda is doing a good job and I think that at the next test we will have something that can help us."

Marc has mentioned he has asked for more improvements on the engine. What is he asking HRC for exactly?

"The configuration of this engine compared to last year is a little different, especially in terms of the power delivery. The engine is more aggressive, so on the corners and especially on the fast corners it means there are some grip problems when taking the corner. But we’re not too worried. It is working well and there is still the second test in Sepang and the test in Qatar to come, so that we can get to the first race in the best condition."

MotoGP, 2015, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, interview

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