“Pol’s fall curve needs ‘airfence’ tomorrow, not next year”

I was optimistic Marc Márquez after a first day of the Portuguese GP in which he suffered his first crash of the course, without consequences in turn 3, and in which he finished 14th. Yes, he became more serious to talk about Pol Espargaró’s crash at turn 10 and the absence of air protection at that point, which caused the GASGAS rider to hit the tyres.

-What can you say about Pol’s accident?

-I don’t know if Pol has reached the wall or if the motorcycle has hit him (they tell him that he reached the wall). So they need to put ‘air fence’. I had seen him slide on the gravel with the bike behind him and I thought the bike had hit him. So he’s been lucky. It’s a point where they need to air fence tomorrow, not next year. Tomorrow.

-How is your body after a day like today? Has it been real or fictitious to see him in the first position with 20 minutes to go and tenth in the morning?

-The goal today was optimistic and was to be in Q2 directly. Yes, it is true that I felt quite good and I went very fast, but we all went faster than in the tests, and with less rubber on the track, which is difficult to understand. Everyone was going to do their ‘time attack’ and they have seen what FP2 is now, as three soft tires are thrown in a row, which he does and says that this year it will go much faster and logically many more will be assumed risks, because we will throw three soft tires in a row. It is true that we are out of Q2, but it is not a surprise, it is not that of ‘what happened’, because we are in the place where we should be for the preseason and our weak point continues to be the fastest lap since in At pace we are not so, so, so far, but the fastest lap is where we lose more and more people take us out, and it is one of the most important points this year.

-Is the situation fixed for tomorrow?

-(Silence…) If I say yes, it would be creating false expectations. I would say that one of the Hondas will enter Q2, at least one, because the three of us are there, Rins, me or Mir are there, at a very similar level both in terms of fast lap and pace, so it will be very interesting to see if This Honda could be us, although if it is not like that we will try to qualify as best as possible since there are two starts.

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– Were there many Honda engineers in the box?

-Well, the same as in the tests. They are the technical directors, who are trying to understand the situation since the only option is to continue improving the chassis and swingarm, trying to test some idea and the Jerez test will be the last option we will have to try to take a step forward. We’ll see tomorrow to see if we can take one more step at the riding level, because at the set-up level we won’t find anything. We’ve done a lot of laps in testing, we’ve done a lot of laps today and we won’t find anything in FP3.

-Failing in the fast lap prevents you from getting ahead and that becomes a danger?

-Yes, logically when you start on the first two lines you have a much easier rest of the race, simply because when you get to turn one if you start on the fourth line you are already two or three seconds away from the podium positions and then You don’t have the speed anymore, you can’t improve. We must continue working to try to improve this aspect, especially since it will be crucial this year with the classifications as we have two starting formations.

-Is it positive to have three Hondas in the positions they are in?

-Yes, last year when we started the season, the Hondas started at a very similar level, especially Pol and me, although later Pol had a harder time and I managed to improve, while this year since the preseason, both in Malaysia and in Portimao and here over the weekend you can see that all the Hondas are in a tenth place and the rhythm is good, but it will be seen in the races, but hopefully we will have a similar level because that will also help us to grow the project, especially all because of the comments on whether we are going fast, because the comments from the three Honda riders will be very similar.

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