“I was enjoying myself as a child. He was driving like he hadn’t done in a long time”. Marc Marquez is back. And, with him, madness has been unleashed in MotoGP. The French GP will go down in history, not only because it is the thousandth grand prix in the history of the championship, but also because the controversy was once again the main protagonist of some high-voltage races. The touches, the anger, the disagreement with the Race Direction sanctions… and the return of the eight-time world champion to his best level. After a month and a half away without taking a motorcycle, Márquez is still a long way from recovering his physical form to 100%, but at least the Spaniard knows that it is possible to fight again among the fastest. With a physique and a motorcycle inferior to that of his rivals, Marc was able to fight for pole position and a podium that it escaped him due to a crash two laps from the end of the race.
In the end, ambition prevailed with the Repsol Honda rider, but it is that his character on the track does not let him settle. He was racing at the limit, with a bike that is far from being the one he needs to fight for the World Championship, but with sensations that leave him satisfied until he returns to racing in three weeks, in Mugello (Italy). And, although they take another zero in the box, The team did not seem to care, seeing what the man from Ilerdense could achieve on the track. In fact, it gives the brand peace of mind, which has already been warned by the pilot himself: he needs more of them and a new chassis does not solve all his problems. They are aware of it, but in the meantime, Alberto Puig, team manager of the team, makes a more than positive reading of the weekend: “Marc has had a fantastic race. Unfortunately, at the end of the race he was chasing the podium and he knew Zarco was right behind him and ready to push, so he had to keep fighting.
Points left in France are of no importance, because seeing the Márquez from before is the best result they could take home: “The character of a champion is to always try to get the most out of any situation, which is exactly what Marc did. I think he is riding at the same level as he was before he got injured three years ago. He has driven magnificently and has done everything he could with what he had”. And that is the best feeling that the ‘golden wing’ brand can bring to this unusual spring break. Valuable time to continue working on improvements because, despite the fact that the new Kalex chassis has left a good taste in the mouth, it is not enough to fight for a World Championship to which they want to aspire again. At least the French test It has been “a positive first step” for this new frame, although “still with points to improve”. “There is work to be done and we will continue taking steps forward,” says Puig, satisfied to see the first results “of the work of recent months.”
With three weeks off until Mugello, “It is time to continue analyzing all the information from the first races” to be able to understand “what is the best direction to follow” on a Honda that Joan Mir is not capable of mastering. The Spaniard “continues working to understand the bike, which unfortunately translates into crashes” that make him reach a limit. Just like Rins, who also did not have the opportunity to test the Kalex chassis at Le Mans. “Everyone is trying, but we are still not up to the bike”, assures the Spaniard, relieved to see that Marc is fast again with the prototype of the Japanese brand. Now, the next step is to “work to contribute a few more things for Mugello and future races” because, despite the distance (82 points behind the leader, Bagnaia)they still have more than 500 points at stake until the end of the year. “The championship is very open and many things can still happen” insists Puig, aware that “it can only be done if you are a special driver”. Luckily for Honda, they have Marc Márquez.