Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
How is Pol Espargaro?
Pol had two crashes during FP1 on Friday and one was a very hard fall. We already suspected it would be very difficult for him and it was like this in the end. He had a problem with his ribs and during the race, lap-by-lap, he struggled to breathe with the pain and in the heat. Of course, his position on the bike, and with the heat, meant it was not possible for him to continue. He suffered the consequences of Friday’s crash.
Pol was not the only one who suffered, how do you view the German GP weekend?
I would say it was really bad. It’s obvious. Takaaki Nakagami also crashed on Saturday, and he started the race with some limitations and crashed again. Alex Marquez had a problem with his RC213V and Stefan Bradl did what he could. We need to remember that he is our Test Rider and he is here helping us by replacing Marc Marquez. Overall, clearly it was not a good weekend, and we have to analyse it as quickly as possible to understand how to get out of this situation.
This is Honda’s worst result as constructor since 1982.
I don’t know about statistics; I just know that we are not in the correct situation at the moment and we have to completely change this. We have done it many times in the past, we are Honda!
Was Marc Marquez the unique positive news from the Sachsenring?
Yes, but I think it’s a different concept and I don’t want to mix them. Marc’s story is going in its own way. He has had his surgery and fortunately it’s going well. But we cannot believe it’s all super positive. Positive is when we bring a competitive bike and we can return to our normal level of racing and results.
Did you speak with Marc?
Yes, I talked to Marc. He is happy and his right arm is progressing. He met with the doctors and he is doing what they told him he needs to do. But we can be certain that he is following the situation here and sure he will show up soon to see what is happening firsthand, to understand how we are trying to improve the bike.
How do we approach Assen this week? The last race before the summer break.
We are not hiding. We know we must improve. First of all, we need to check our riders’ conditions. We need to know how Pol and Nakagami are physically. Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl are ok.
Assen is always a complicated track, it’s a very demanding track. You need to have a bike with good balance there because there are some high-speed corners and some very slow corners as well, you need to have good control of your bike. If you do not have bike control, Assen is a place where you can struggle a lot.