- Afshan khan
Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig gave a candid response to the team’s readiness for the new MotoGP season, stating: “Obviously, we’re not there yet.”
The team’s star rider Marc Márquez left at Sepang confident in his own improved physical performance, but his bike’s current incarnation for 2023 could help him contend for the championship. It argued that there is a need for dramatic improvements.
Honda endured a disastrous 2022. Marquez missed six races with injury but was still the best-placed rider in the MotoGP rankings. Embarrassingly he scored one point in a premier-class race in Germany for the first time in 40 years.
Puig’s team manager in his three-day pre-season test at Sepang: “It was an evolution of what we tried in Valencia. For us, the test ends in Portimao. Obviously, we’re not there yet.”
“We have a lot of ideas to keep trying the solutions we have, but we need to take them in and prove they work. One of our goals is to improve traction, but it is not the only one. We need to improve many things. I think we’re on the right track. We’ve had four bikes – the same, with different settings. But it’s not a completely new concept.”
“We don’t think we have achieved our goal. From engine and chassis, there are options. But it’s clear that we need more time.”
Marquez started on his four bikes on Friday and finished on his favorite bike on Sunday, but made it clear that even with Honda’s best efforts “he needs one more step”. He was tenth on Sunday with his new teammate, 2020 MotoGP champion Joan Mir. If Honda can make the car even stronger in his next test at Portimao, last weekend Marquez went injury-free, it could be judged as a positive experience.
“We see Joan progress. He improves and understands the bike. What if you brought a bike you thought you could take? Remember Joan is his two-time world champion. That’s why he’s here. ”
Also read: https://the12thman.in/motogp-news-francesco-bagnaia-asserts-that-he-is-the-man-to-beat-in-motogp-and-that-pressure-may-do-awful-things/
2020 world champion Mir will join Honda on a two-year deal starting this season after being left without a rider when Suzuki decided to leave MotoGP in late 2022. After making his Honda debut at Valencia, Mir rode the RC213V for three full days at Sepang this weekend and finished 12th overall.
Mir said he was “enjoying” the process of adapting to Honda, but Marquez said the RC213V was “nowhere near” as competitive as reigning world champion Ducati, which raced all three days of the Sepang test. As a result, he is more focused on closing that gap than his personal pride in the inter-team battle with Marquez. “These three days are happy,” Mill began. “I learned a lot and was able to learn more with the style that Honda asked me to do. “I enjoy riding this way, so every day I ride better and enjoy the process.”
“Enjoying the process makes everything easier and quicker lap times. It’s fine for me that he can be competitive in just three or four days on this bike. “But we still have a long way to go from Ducati, especially from Aprilia. A step is needed. “Of course, I always check with my teammates where the bikes are, but if we both can improve the Ducati, I’m very happy, so I’m thinking more about Ducati.”
Honda ran an extensive test program in Malaysia and Marquez initially started with four bikes. Comparing how the Honda and Suzuki work, Mir noticed: “I am satisfied with the way they work. “You are being listened to by more people than Suzuki. It’s great and there are a lot of people working behind you. ”
Also read: https://the12thman.in/motogp-news-pol-espargaro-i-am-a-better-man-now-than-when-i-left-ktm/
1 of 4