Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
Australia was a positive weekend, how we can describe the Malaysian GP?
Let’s say that Saturday’s Qualifying result, Marc Marquez moving from Q1 and then securing P3 on the grid, was unreal. It was an outstanding performance from Marc over these two laps, but it was not our pace. Our pace was the pace that he showed on Sunday, and this is obviously not the pace with which we can win a GP. We cannot pretend we have the pace to fight for the win, so finally we are where we are and this is not where we should be.
It appears only Marquez is performing and the other riders are not in the best mood.
It is not easy when you have frustrations and it is clear that several of our riders are frustrated. We know how difficult this track is for us, we have known it for a long time. But this weekend was the confirmation that, especially in terms of power, we have to improve a lot. The engineers are thinking and working on how to fix it. We don’t need a modification, we need a change, technically speak, to make the step.
Marquez before the race knew his target on Sunday was P7. How does Honda feel?
We knew our pace. We were happy after Q2, but we knew it wasn’t the reality. We know we need to improve, so we cannot pretend that the rider is going to do everything and make surprises like this. We must understand we have to change and change for good, not just a modification.
How does the HRC Team Manager approach the race from the pit canopy you see other manufactures on the top?
Obviously, we are not happy at all. The only thing we can do is improve ourselves. We have to understand that we are not competitive and react to it. Then it will be ok. This is racing!
Can we react for Valencia or is the goal the Valencia Test?
Valencia is a different track. I think we won’t suffer like here in Malaysia, we don’t need as much power. It suits our bike a little bit more, but our target is not to react for Valencia, our target is to bring a more competitive bike for our riders in 2023.
Ai Ogura crashed leading his Moto2 race and now he is second in the championship.
This happens and the first person who is upset is Ai himself. We are not going to play the blame game now. He tried, he wanted the victory and unluckily he crashed. But again, this is racing. He will learn from this. His team has one more chance in Valencia; this is not over yet.