Last chance to improve for Honda and Márquez

Transcendental two-day test for MotoGP at the Portimao circuit, where the 2023 World Championship will start on March 26. There comes the grill of the queen class with the good feelings that he left in the ranks of Ducati, mainly, the Sepang test, and the important doubts, once again, in Honda, with a new RC213V that is not ready to fight for the title, and at Yamaha, where despite increasing their top speed they have lost steam with new tires. That’s why, training on the Algarve circuit is crucial for the golden wing to give Marc Márquez a weapon with which to try to dethrone the new king of MotoGP from the start, a Francesco Bagnaia who is delighted with the new Desmosedici.

Honda has set to work this winter to get out of the hole in which they have found themselves since their flagship was injured in the first race of the 2020 course. They have moved chips in the technical team and the organization has improved, according to what he himself assured Marc after the tests in Malaysia, but the problems persist. This is how Márquez summed them up: “The same problems from last year continue to persist. It is clear that The engine, at top speed, is not bad, but it took us too long to reach that top speed, because it comes from the traction. This on European circuits, with shorter straights, will be more difficult. And also in long braking, like the one in turn 1, high-speed braking, stopping to improve the bike is also an important point to be constant”. Almost nothing.

And it is that the Ducati, which is the reference motorcycle in the category, is the one that runs the most, the one that accelerates the most and the one that brakes the best. The other brands can only dispute their power in cornering, but with everything else in favor, and with so many bikes on the track, up to eight, it seems very difficult to beat them even for a rider as good as Márquez if he doesn’t have one. Fairly decent bike to race with. In favor of the eight-time world champion, he finished seventh in Malaysia, seven tenths behind the fastest, which was Luca Marini, but he chose not to mount soft tires in the final stretch and did not take part in the qualifying drill that took place. It was not the time to fight for the best time, but Let’s see if in Portimao he can get into that fight now, because it will be a sign that Honda is beginning to fulfill his duties, the same as his pilot has done, because physically he is finally like in his best times.

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They also have important duties ahead of them in the Yamaha garage, because the speed improvement in the M1’s engine is not enough if the bike is not running, as in Malaysia, with new rubber. Getting a good position on the MotoGP grid is becoming as important in recent times as in F1 and Fabio Quartararo is finding it increasingly difficult to fly one lap, something in which he has always excelled.

Regarding Aprilia, to continue its good evolution that Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales know how to take advantage of, taking advantage of the fact that they now have a satellite team, in which Miguel Oliveira and Raúl Fernández are active. And KTM and GasGaS to improve the sensations in Malaysia, where the best of their bikes was that of Pol Espargaró, who finished 13th, 0.9 behind the head.

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