Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
How are the riders? Three crashes in Le Mans.
Fortunately, none of the riders are injured which is the most important thing when you fall. There were different scenarios for the crash, Rins and Mir were having one kind of race and Marc a completely different one. No injuries is the priority.
An amazing race from Marc, it looks like he is really back. If looks like bike still can be improved as there was a big gap from Marc to the other Hondas.
Marc did a fantastic race. Unfortunately, at the end of the race he was chasing a podium and knew that Zarco was just behind him and ready to push so Marc needed to keep fighting. The character of a champion is to try and always take the maximum from any situation, which is exactly what Marc did. I think Marc is now riding at the same level as before his injury three years ago. He rode superbly and did the best with what he had.
Joan Mir is still working to understand the bike, this unfortunately results in him crashing. Rins is in a different situation again, he put together a great weekend in Austin but the last two races haven’t been as straight forward. They are all trying, but we are still not there with the bike.
From the mental side, Joan Mir has crashed a lot in these opening races. Does this make it harder for him to return to the top positions?
We have to try and find a better position for him on the bike so that he can understand it better and ride more as he wants. He needs to gain some of the confidence he has lost back, but as a rider usually you gain confidence when you know your bike. This knowledge is what we have to try and give him. It is a process.
There were a lot of expectations from outside in regards to the new chassis that was debuted this weekend. It has only been one weekend but what are the first feelings about it?
Well, this project has been ongoing for a while, working in cooperation with them for a long time. Now the work from the past months is starting to show and I think it was a positive first step. Of course, there are still points to improve, you cannot change something like the chassis in just five minutes – there’s work to do and we will continue to make steps forward.
Now we have three weeks away, followed by three weeks in a row of racing. What’s the approach?
It’s the time to continue looking at all the information from the opening races, working to continue to understand the best direction to follow and work to bring some more things for Mugello and future races.
As we saw today, the championship is very open, and a lot can still happen. Marc after being away from riding any kind of motorcycle for a month and a half was able to immediately get his speed back – this is important to note. It can only be done if you’re a special rider. We will see what happens in the coming races.