Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
What was the strategy for the Doha race?
As always, the strategy was to try and make a good start and then follow the main group fighting at the front. Unfortunately, Stefan made a mistake at the start and lost the advantage he had from Qualifying. It’s a shame. On the other side, Pol was able to make quite a good start. This was very important because it allowed Pol to avoid problems into Turn 1 like he had in the past race.
Positive points and negative points after race?
Well, the positive point is that despite some mistakes, running off track twice, Pol Espargaro finished only six seconds from the winner and just four second from the top five. We can see that we are not there just yet, but the difference is not big, we are not trying to close a gap of 20 seconds. There are some smaller areas to work on, to put everything in place together and then we will be there.
The overall result is again the negative point of the Grand Prix, the mistakes and Alex Marquez who crashed in the middle of the race. It’s unfortunate.
The view from pit wall during race?
When Espargaro ran wide at the first corner for the second time, it was not a good view at all from pit wall because we knew the GP was over for us. We were expecting and aiming to catch the group ahead of us and at this point Pol was only 2.6 seconds from the leader. It looked like the potential was there to fight for eighth up to fifth position. The potential is there.
Inside story apart from official comments?
We have been in Qatar for a long time now, two tests and two races back-to-back. We don’t leave here in the best position compared to what we have experienced in the past. This race is never easy for us, this is something that we know and we will overcome it. Now we return to Europe and we start a new campaign in Portugal, using what we have learned here in Doha and working to improve in the future. The season is long, and we are just at the beginning.