Track Report by Alberto Puig [Repsol Honda Team - Team Manager]
What was the strategy for the Jerez race?
As the riders were not starting from strong positions, the first target was to start well and gain positions, moving towards the leading group to match their pace and save tyres for later in the race.
Positive points and negative points after race?
Certainly, the race from Nakagami was one of the very positive points of Sunday in Jerez. He overcame his physical issues that he sustained in his fall in Portimao, and he showed that he is mentally very strong. Taka was not in a perfect condition, but he did a good race and was only 0.7s away from his first podium in the premier class.
Another positive was that Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro were alright after they both had very big crashes. Marc, despite two very fast falls, was able to finish the race ten seconds behind the leader which, importantly, was three seconds closer to the winner than in Portugal.
Finally, the very positive point is that despite not making the best start to the season, our Honda HRC riders are only 47 (Nakagami), 49 (Espargaro) and 50 (Marquez) points behind the championship leader. There are still 375 points to play for this season, so we are keeping everything in mind moving forward.
The negative point is that we, as Honda HRC, understand that we are facing some issues with the bike, but we have been able to already recognize them. We are trying our best, we are bringing new parts soon and we are willing, and already working very hard, to give our best to the riders for the next races.
The view from pit wall during race?
The view from the pit wall this time for me was from my TV. Unfortunately, I could not be with my team due to a health problem, and I had to watch the Grand Prix on TV. The view from home is not the same as from the pit wall, but I was able to follow the race and saw Marc having some moments with other riders in the beginning, but he tried to recover. Both Marc and Pol finished the race despite their crashes earlier.
Taka, on the other hand, was in attack mode and he showed his character this weekend. We are happy with his performance. Unfortunately, his team-mate, Alex Marquez, crashed in the first lap after another rider hit him.
What I can confirm from this weekend is that MotoGP is more stressful to watch from the sofa than if you are riding in the race.
Inside story apart from official comments?
We are very pleased and happy to reunite with our title sponsor Repsol at the circuit after many, many months apart. It’s been a pleasure and we also had the opportunity to meet Arturo Gonzalo, Repsol’s new Executive Managing Director of Communication & Institutional Relations, together with Teresa de Isturiz -Marketing Director- and Ana Camps -Sponsoring Deputy Director-. We are delighted to meet with Repsol again and it’s another step towards returning to normality.