MotoGP 2021
Round 6

Honda Riders Endure Tough Day At Mugello

it Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) both crashed out of top-ten positions in today’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Honda Riders Endure Tough Day At Mugello

Following the exits of the older Marquez brother and Nakagami the top Honda MotoGP finisher was Marquez’s team-mate Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who took the chequered flag in 12th, two places ahead of Alex Marquez (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V).

Nakagami had started the day so well, riding the fastest lap in this morning’s warm-up session, which Marquez completed a promising sixth fastest.

Marquez’s race ended on the second lap, when he tangled with a rival through the Turn Two/Three Luco/Poggio Secco section and fell. He bravely tried to restart but wasn’t able to, so he withdrew.

This was the six-times MotoGP World Champion’s fourth race since returning from the right-arm injury that had kept him out of racing from last July until last month. Marquez scored back-to-back top-ten results at his first two comeback races, then led the rain-affected French GP two weeks ago, only to tumble out.

Although the 28-year-old Spaniard can ride his RC213V, his right arm muscles are not yet at 100%, so he cannot ride the bike in his usual way. Therefore this is a work in process – Marquez will slowly rebuild strength over the coming weeks and months until he reaches 100% strength.

His exit left Nakagami as the top-placed Honda rider. The 29-year-old Japanese from Chiba was riding a great race, from 12th at the end of the first lap to eighth place with four laps to go. But on lap 20 of 23 he fell as he raced through the Turn 13/14 esses. Like Marquez, he was unhurt.

Espargaro was strong in the early stages of the race, working his way up from 14th on lap one to chase Nakagami, aiming for a top-ten finish. However he lost a section of his RC213V’s aerodynamics, which compromised his performance for the rest of the race.

The younger Marquez was looking forward to the race after a strong performance in morning warm-up. He finally chose the hard-option front slick, which didn’t give the grip he needed in left-handers, so he was unable to push to his usual limits.

The event was overshadowed by the passing of Jason Dupasquier, the 19-year-old Swiss rider who lost his life following an accident in yesterday’s Moto3 Q2 qualifying session. Honda sends its deepest condolences to Dupasquier’s family, team and loved ones.

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro 44
Repsol Honda Team
Today our results are not the focus, the most important thing is thinking of Jason and his family. Today we all had him in our hearts and minds when we raced. My race was difficult today, the start was OK and I was behind Taka. Then something happened with the wing and I lost it, which made it very complicated. I was losing a lot of aerodynamics, changing direction was very hard and the bike was not behaving. This happened on lap four or five so it was difficult. We will keep working in Barcelona.

Alex Marquez
Alex Marquez 73
It was a difficult day here. The warm-up was very positive and we were able to make some steps and look forward as we had quite good pace. But in the race, we decided to go with a hard front tyre and maybe it wasn’t the right decision as I was losing a little bit too much on the left side. It was a difficult weekend, but I think we made some good steps during the warm-up and the three days. We need to analyse some more and come back stronger. Anyway, today the main thing was that we raced for Jason, many times racing can be like this. I think for all of us the race was of secondary importance today.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez 93
Repsol Honda Team
It has been a very hard weekend for MotoGP, we have lost a young talent, a young rider inside the paddock. This situation is very hard for everyone, and we wish everyone close to Jason all the best. Unfortunately we finished the race much earlier than we were expecting and it was really not a good situation because I need laps on the bike. I had contact with Brad Binder, it was a racing incident, and this happens many times here at this track. I thought that Binder was further back and in the change of direction, we touched. It was my mistake. Luckily no one else fell. Now we prepare for Catalunya after this difficult weekend for the MotoGP family.

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
Today we are all very sad that Jason passed away. It’s a really difficult moment for everyone in the paddock. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and his team, we are all very sorry. For us it was difficult to focus on the race in such a sad moment, it’s a really sad day for all of motorcycling. But we have to try and look to the future now and the next race at Montmelo.

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