Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
These three races in a row have not been easy for Honda, how do you see the situation?
Of course, we can’t be happy with this situation or think that it is in any way acceptable. We have three of our riders injured and the results have not been coming – this is not our objective when we go racing. At the moment we need to focus on the recovery of Marquez, Mir and Rins so that they can return at 100% when possible. Fortunately, we now have the summer break to allow them to rest and recover.
It's clear we need to do more to allow our riders to exploit their maximum potential. But everyone from HRC, from Europe to Japan, is giving their full attention to this – we are not satisfied and know that more must be done.
What upgrades and development are planned for the rest of the year?
First, we need to deeply understand where the issues are and how to best resolve them. This will be the primary focus for all the engineers in HRC Japan over this pause in the season. They are already working on some items based on rider feedback from the start of the year, but we have to continue to work and making improvements. A Grand Prix motorocycle is a whole package, you have to work on improving every aspect of it – one new piece rarely fixes everything.
After the break we will aim to have a clearer idea of the future and what is to come. Now is the time to analyse and get to the root, the core of our situation.
In Assen we saw strong rides from Nakagami and also Iker Lecuona, stepping into the Repsol Honda Team again.
Nakagami continues to work diligently, putting in the laps and gathering data. His consistency has allowed him to earn some points in the last races and especially in Assen, as others made mistakes and suffered falls, he was able to enter the top ten. We thank him for the work that he continues to do.
In the Repsol Honda Team garage, Iker Lecuona put together a very strong weekend. It was just his second time on the bike and every session he was able to get faster. He was calm through the whole weekend and worked well with the team to make improvements. Unfortunately, on Sunday he could not finish the race, but what he showed in the first half was promising. He now has a very busy period with WorldSBK and the Suzuka 8 Hours, we wish him all the best.
And finally, after a difficult start to the season both Chantra and Ogura are back closer to the front in Moto2.
Ogura started the season with an injury which upset his preparations and he missed the first two races as a result. Now, the injury is improving and he has found his feeling again and in Assen he was able to show the potential we saw from him last year. His objective is to finish the season in a strong way and return to fighting at the front each weekend. Chantra has had a more consistent start to the year, only missing points in Assen. He has been near the front in a few races and some of his stronger tracks are coming up in the second half of the year.