Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
The last race in Valencia was not what was expected nor what Honda aim for.
The results were clearly not what we expected. You don’t expect to end the championship with a crash, yet alone two, but unfortunately it happened and this is probably a consequence of not being where we need to be from a technical point of view. Regardless, we tried until the end and this is the spirit of our team.
Marc Marquez had a good feeling during the weekend.
Marc knows the Valencia track very well and he was able to hide or work around many of the problems the RC213V currently has with his riding. But this weekend it wasn’t possible.
It was the last race for Pol Espargaro but he was again unlucky.
Yes. We have always said that Pol always tried, his effort was never in doubt. He never really found the balance with the bike but it is true that the bike was not helping him a lot. We can’t blame him for his results, but unfortunately the situation and our time together was not what we expected. We wish him all the best in his next chapter and want to see him do well, we want to be fighting with him at the front. We will remember him as a very fast rider that never gave up.
We had the Valencia Test on Tuesday with two new riders.
We had both Joan Mir and Alex Rins join us at the test, two riders from another manufacturer. It’s difficult for a new rider to gain a deep and precise understanding of the bike with just one day of riding. But they tried, for sure what they found was very different to what they are used to and now they will deeply analyse everything they did.
In terms of our program as Honda, we have been working hard since the Misano Test but unfortunately we have not yet found everything that we are looking for. We have to keep searching for what we want.
Now it’s time to prepare Sepang Test. Marc said he needs to make one step and HRC need to make two if we want to fight for the title in 2023.
And I am asking for three steps. We need three steps to be on a good path, heading in the right direction. Certainly in Japan they have been working very hard, there is no doubt. It’s clear and we know it, but unfortunately we still could not find the correct direction. All our engineers, not only in Japan, but also in Europe, are working and trying. We trust them and we hope we can meet our expectations and deliver a bike in Sepang.
How is Takaaki Nakagami?
He is not hundred percent fit. He showed his character and did a big effort in Valencia. Now he has to recover and needs to see if he needs more surgery or not in order to be ready for next year.
Ai Ogura lost the Moto2 Championship with two crashes in last two races.
He did what he had to do. He gave his all and finally he crashed, but when give your all… I mean, he lost the championship with respect. Nothing more to say. Next year he will have another opportunity and will try to win.