Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
Marc Marquez is back on the podium after one year.
The most important part of today was seeing Marc back at his true speed and able to show his real DNA. This means fighting for victory. From the perspective of the Repsol Honda Team and HRC we are very pleased for him and of course we are happy to be back up the front. But the focus is on him because we know how he has suffered and we have nothing but respect and admiration for the effort he has put in to come back to this condition and perform at this level. For all these reasons, we will keep working for the future to bring the best bike possible and to return the title to Honda. This is our commitment and our obligation as a company which is a leader in the racing environment.
The Australian GP was another exciting and interesting race, with a lot of overtaking.
The race was not as fast as we were expecting, but it was certainly nice to watch from the outside. It was a race where we could see Marc’s spirit and possibilities in a very demanding track like Phillip Island. We were just missing a bit of speed, so we must and we need to take clear note of what we saw. Finally, it’s clear we must react.
Marquez was the only rider with the soft rear tyre, what was the feeling in the team?
Normally a special rider knows what they have to do and Marc knew what he was doing when he was deciding. Before the race it was not a crazy choice, but probably it did not seem like the correct decision. From my point of view, it was not a surprise. The rider knows which is the best tyre and a special rider knows it even better. The Repsol Honda Team is very happy that he understood what he had to do.
Alex Marquez had a great start and was fighting at the front but then had an unfortunate accident.
Alex had an accident and we are very sorry for Jack Miller. It was his home GP and this is why we feel even more sorry for him, but also we feel sorry for Alex because it was not his intention to cause the incident. Pol Espargaro was fast this weekend but unfortunately he did not have the best race, he struggled to recover after a difficult start. There were flashes in both their performances which leave us pleased.
Now we go straight to Malaysia…
Malaysia will be not an easy one, it will be very demanding on the engine, very different conditions from here. When you have a rider like Marc, who is returning to fitness and clearly a special rider, you can never put him out of the equation. It won’t be easy but we will go there and see what happens. The most important aspect is that he is improving his condition and Honda needs to give him the tools to do what he is capable of.