“I used to drive better”

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Honda played no part in awarding the top spots at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Marc Marquez finished sixth, 15 seconds behind. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR) followed in seventh place.

Marc Marquez let Johann Zarco pass without a fight

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Paul Espargaro was 11th because he had to avoid the fall of Miguel Oliveira (KTM) in the final stages and lost places as a result. Alex Marquez (LCR) scored two championship points in 14th place.

Even after seven races in the 2022 MotoGP season, Honda can still be found sixth and final in the constructors’ standings. According to Marc Marquez, this sixth place in Le Mans corresponds to reality. RC213V is unable to win with its own power.

“It was a solid, solid race,” said the Spaniard. “That was our pace and I was sixth. I said on Saturday we were between fifth and seventh. Three riders fell in front of me. If it wasn’t for the fall, I would have been ninth.”

“I couldn’t go any faster. When Zarko passed me, I slipped away from the line so as not to lose any time. I let him pass and wanted to follow him, but he was faster. I didn’t have the speed…”

Marc Marquez

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“Sector 2 was tough as you need to turn and grip. The Stop and Go sector was fine but we had acceleration in the corners on this track. It was the same problem as in Jerez. The turning needs to improve.”

He drives with greater caution, because he is also physically disabled

“At Jerez I enjoyed it more because I could fight. There I also took more risks. Here I only took risks on the first lap and after that I was in my position. I didn’t feel comfortable and saw that the risk of falling was average.”

Does this indicate a change in Marc Marquez? Would he have risked more a few years ago? “Yes of course,” the 29-year-old laughs. “If I had not been in the top positions three years ago, I would have attacked and fallen.”

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez only risked the battle for positions in the starting stage Zoom

“But now we are very far from taking the risk. So it’s easier to accept the situation. In the past I drove better. Now I drive differently and it’s true that I can’t drive the way I want to.”

“While I don’t ride at my best, I’m always the best Honda rider. That means the performance is there. But I don’t ride the ride very well. Practically, I need other riders for lap time. The cadence is hard to find. But we work.”

He also reveals that he was not on a physical level: “When I woke up on Sunday, I didn’t feel good – my body, but also my arms. But it was race day and I had to drive. The race was fine. The level was normal, as in Portimao and Jerez.”

Paul Espargaro can’t overtake

In the Drivers’ Championship, Marc Marquez is the best Honda driver in tenth place. He has 48 championship points behind Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). Espargaro can be found in twelfth place overall. Le Mans was another frustrating race for him.

It was behind the KTM duo Brad Bender and Miguel Oliveira most of the time. Espargaro was on his way to 10th place. When Oliveira crashed just before the finish and Espargaro had to avoid him, he fell behind Luca Marini (VR46-Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia).

Paul Espargaro

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“Very difficult,” Espargaro sighs. “My biggest problem with this bike is that I can’t overtake. I don’t feel hard sides. I lost in acceleration because the grip was too low. Only on the brakes can I compensate for the ground.”

“But because I lost acceleration, I had to catch the brakes and later brake to be able to overtake. I tried to overtake the KTM six times, but I got off the line six times.”

“At Jerez too, I was behind Brad and couldn’t overtake. I lost quite a few positions because Miguel fell. The result was bad. I was usually very fast here. I like the track a lot and I’ve been here my whole career fast.”

The future is also at stake for Espargaro as rumors suggest his contract with the factory Honda team will not be extended. That’s why the Spaniard needs good results. “I thought I could get a good result here. But even here I couldn’t prove that I’m fast.”

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