Honda is bound to improve. those of the golden wing They continue with the biggest crisis in their history and, although a lot of work has been done this winter, the brand still does not comply with Marc Márquez. The champion asked for two more steps in Valencia and, after the Portimao tests, the sensations are still very similar. They have stagnated. In the pilot’s own words, “the bike is similar” to the one that was presented in Cheste, “except for the chassis”, with slight modifications that have not displeased in the orange box. Many pieces, a lot to try and little to take advantage of. The most successful factory in the MotoGP World Championship continues to experience a critical situation two weeks before the start of the course: far from its rivals, still without finding the right path and with the hope that improvements will come during the year. Even Marc is already looking at the Jerez tests (in May).
For the moment, what Márquez said. The objective is to “try to make the most of the situation” that Honda has while they look for everything they need to get out. There will be good circuits, others worse, but they face the year knowing that some tests do not define what can come in the coming months. The track conditions will be completely different at next week’s Portuguese GP and, although they are far from what they were looking for, Marc was patient and assured that it is not as dramatic as it seems. They found better sensations to close the preseason, they worked on the set-up and, although the pace is still far behind their rivals, they start “the season with enthusiasm and desire”. But with a lot of work ahead. You can’t let your guard down Alberto Puig, Repsol Honda team manager, remembers: “When you look at the lap times and you are 0.5 or 0.7 off the leader, it means you have to step up and improve.”
The summary is evident for the Spanish, are you happy with the tests? “One hundred percent, obviously not.” “We need to improve, that is our main objective and that is what we are going to do,” he assured the press after the two days in Portimao that left Joan Mir as the first Honda in thirteenth position. Total disaster for a brand that dreams of fighting again for a crown that Ducati has in its hands and that, a priori, it will hardly be able to let go. “We still cannot say that we have found what we were looking for. We have work to do, that’s the reality.” explains Puig, aware of how much still needs to be improved, but appreciating the efforts of the factory during the winter because, despite everything, they have done “many tests” and tried “many different parts”. “Honestly speaking, we are not where we want to be” he adds, with the necessary security to warn that Honda “is still on the way” and that they know “what we can do”. However, it has already been three years in swampy terrain and time is running against him: Marc Márquez ends his contract in 2024 and wants to continue fighting for World Cups. The pressure increases for those of the ‘golden wing’.