Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
Mixed feelings in Aragon for the Honda HRC riders…
We clearly have to mention the big effort from Marc Marquez while the other Honda riders struggled a lot. Marc did a fantastic race; he tried everything and gave everything he had until the last moment. We are very pleased to see him riding at the front again. We know Marquez is fast in Aragon, but also his competitor in this race, Bagnaia, was very strong. Marc is normally able to win here, but this is a great result in this season as whole. The combination of Marquez and Honda RC213V was great on Sunday. We are happy for him and for the whole Repsol Honda Team.
20 points even though he suffered physically.
He put together a good performance, and we really appreciate this second podium of the year. Even though he is not 100% fit, he managed to perform very well and show the spirit and determination that has brought him to where he is.
On the other hand, Pol Espargaro couldn’t find his best pace on Sunday.
It was not easy for Pol. He was missing some important things on the bike for his riding style here and could not perform as he did in Silverstone. He could not stop the bike like he wanted on Sunday. We have to keep trying and working with him to solve these issues. There is something missing in the combination of him and the bike.
Positive points and negative points after race?
The negative is clearly Alex Marquez’s crash and Takaaki Nakagami and Pol Espargaro being unable to be closer to the front at a circuit they both enjoy and have gone well around in the past. But we can be happy with Marc’s performance, this gives us a lot of hope and motivation to keep working and developing our bike for the future, to keep raising the level and improving.
The view from pit wall during race?
We could understand that Pecco Bagnaia was very strong and he was not making mistakes. We have to congratulate him. We were expecting that if pace was in the 1’49s, we would have more of a possibility to beat him, but Pecco was riding very well. The important point from MotorLand Aragon is that we saw that Marc’s DNA has not changed and he is always trying, even when it is nearly impossible, even when probably he knew the Ducati was stronger on the straight. He never gave up and for a company like Honda, it is important to have a rider like him.
We are going to Misano, an important race and test for HRC.
I think all the races are important, but it is true that next week we also have Stefan Bradl as a wild card and there is a MotoGP test after the Grand Prix, which in many ways is even more important for us than the race. We have been trying to improve our machine, our engineers will use this test to gather interesting data and improve the bike for the future.