After seven grand prix, Honda continues to occupy last place in the MotoGP World Championship constructors' standings. Covered the first third of the championship sees the leading factory, Ducati, at 89 points. While the almighty Japanese house has added a single podium in 2022, that of Pol Espargaró in the first race of the year held in Qatar, the Italian already has four victories (the three of the surprising Enea Bastianini with the 2021 bike and the Jerez of Pecco Bagnaia with the 2022) and five other podiums.
After the Spanish Grand Prix, the teams had a training day to analyze their situation and test solutions to their problems, although in the case of Honda, given what was seen in France, it has not been of much use. At least for now. His spearhead, Marc Márquez, left this weekend a sentence that was taken as defining, the assumption that this year he will not be able to fight for the crown. "I have seen that we are not here to fight for the title," acknowledged last Friday a pilot who has decided to set more modest goals to survive in the remainder of the season.
“The motivation is to try to get there. If you are far away it is clear that the motivation is always to set a realistic goal. I think I explained it in Jerez, that if you set yourself the goal of winning or being on the podium, the only thing you will achieve is frustration, because you cannot achieve it now. Yesterday I set myself the goal of finishing from fifth to seventh; Well, well, three have crashed and I have been able to make it, but I know that I was neither fifth nor sixth in speed, I was further away, but I set myself more goals for the weekend and that is the way to work and go out motivated on the track, pushing up to certain risks, ”explained Marc Márquez, after a race in which he gained all the ground he could at the start.
The man from Cervera is aware that right now in MotoGP it is costing a lot to overtake and after the start he tried to stay in a decent position, sixth, after not being able to withstand the attacks of Fabio Quartararo first and Johann Zarco later, and benefiting from the crashes of other pilots (Bagnaia, Álex Rins and Joan Mir). He sixth, after being fourth in Jerez and also sixth in both Portugal and Austin. In the first race of the year, because he missed the second in Indonesia and the third in Argentina, he crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Only at the American event could his best version be seen, although the rider himself had already warned that things were going to get complicated in Europe. «My problem is still the same as the preseason one. I already said that I had some problems that when there was a lot of grip on the third day of testing the bike was fine, but you never find those conditions in a grand prix, it's completely different, and what I feared in preseason is what has ended happening, especially when we have reached Europe to smaller circuits, "he analyzed.
Now Márquez's season and those of his teammates remain in the hands of the engineers, who continue to rack their brains to understand how to get out of this hole with little time to work and another opportunity in sight, the training day after the Great Catalonia Award. Before they will have to deal with that appointment and with the next Italian Grand Prix. "Last year's bike was different but with this bike you are riding faster," reasoned Márquez, regarding higher speed but with less improvement than the competition.
«That is where I stick to, it is a very new bike in which we have not really tested anything yet, we have tested the balance of the bike but nothing about the chassis, a different one, and that is where we are working. It is better to do it calmly so that when they bring it it goes well », he concluded, trying to send an optimistic message for a season that still has fourteen weekends left.