Stefan Bradel will compete at least in the next five grand prix races for Marc Marquez’s Repsol Honda. Honda’s lack of leverage worries.
The engineers at Honda Racing Corporation had yet to assemble a 2020 MotoGP World Championship winning motorcycle. Back then, on the last day of testing before the pandemic hit the Losail Circuit, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow attacked the Nakagami LCR’s pits to disable 2019 parts and improve their last night pose. Pathetic.
Then Marc Marquez fell badly early in the season at Jerez in July in a hopeless battle against Yamaha aces Quartararo and Viñales, and was out until April 2021. Last year, helpless HRC technicians tried to please the four MotoGP riders with “custom bikes”. So every driver should get a RC213V that is specially designed according to his ideas.
But Alex Marquez and Taka Nakagami fared worse than they did in 2020, and Paul Espargaro took just one podium in 18 races at Repsol Honda Circuit, four less than the previous year’s KTM RC16.
It is now an open secret that Paul Espargaro will be replaced by Joan Mir after 2022. The 2020 world champion has so far been on the road with a straight-line Suzuki engine. Whether he can tame a stubborn Honda V4 after being failed at it by Jorge Lorenzo, Alex Marquez, Taka Nakagami, Paul Espargaro and a few others. Even Marc Marquez, last year’s three-time MotoGP winner, doesn’t have a podium to emerge in 2022. For him, the Honda 2022 was clearly a mistake, a step back. Paul Espargaro, who finished third at the start of the season in Qatar in 2022, is also developing backwards.
Marc Marquez admitted after finishing 10th at Mugello on Sunday that Honda has yet to find a solution or direction to develop the 1000cc V4 machine.
Paul Espargaro complained he was still unable to control after a year and a half, Nakagami complained at Mugello because he hadn’t seen a new part since the start of the season, and regular drivers complain of a lack of communication.
In short: At Honda, there is no way out of the downward spiral in sight. Suzuki’s withdrawal caused a kind of shock to the Japanese at the HRC. In the teams championship, Repsol finished eighth and LCR 10th, while Honda finished last in the constructors’ championship.
Motorcycle test rider Stefan Bradel does not deceive himself. He knows the RC213V’s stubborn pitfalls.
Stefan, the situation at Honda does not look so rosy. Marc Marquez is out again indefinitely, the bike is not competitive. Even Mark managed to finish only one place out of the top five in six races in 2022. Now the motivation is completely missing at the point where entry is required for 2023.
Yes, there is a deficit. I think our motorcycle has potential. But we still haven’t found the leverage we need to use to make things better.
The balance does not match. It improves in one area and deteriorates in another.
Needs a supply of new spare parts. This is necessary in any case.
It is very difficult to get a fast racing pace on this machine. It’s much easier for Ducati and Alex riders in Aprilia.
As a Honda driver, you have to give 120 percent all the time in order to participate reasonably. You drive over the limit most of the time, so you could hurt yourself. If you don’t take the risk, you’re in fifteenth place.
Paul Espargaro complains that he needs more grip on the back. Marc Marquez, on the other hand, wants more feel for the front tire. This disagreement over direction has so far led to increasingly poor results. With these different driving styles, it’s hard to find a solution.
This is correct; This is correct. This is not easy.
Marc Marquez has always tried to find new solutions, but since the start of the season there has been a step backwards. In 2021 Honda failed to capitalize on the grip of the Michelin soft tires in qualifying and on one fast lap. This often resulted in poor starting positions. Nothing has changed about that either.
At the same time, qualifying became more important as overtaking became more difficult.
Many come with it.
Anyway, everyone expected more from Honda. At first things looked good in Doha. Then I figured if you tuned the new bike up a bit, you’d be competitive.
I was terribly wrong, because all the competitors became noticeably stronger and the competition improved after the 2021 season.
You can see that the lap records and highest speed are now dropping everywhere.
MotoGP Mugello results (May 29):
1. Pico Bagnaia, Ducati, 23 laps in 41: 18.923 minutes
2. Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha, +0.635 s
3. Alex Espargaro, Aprilia, +1.983
4. Johann Zarco, Ducati +2,590
5. Marco Bizzichi, Ducati +3.067
6. Luca Marini, Ducati +3.875
7- Brad Binder, KTM, +4.067.0000
8. Takaaki Nakagami – Honda +10.944
9. Miguel Oliveira, KTM +11.256
10. Marc Marquez, Honda +11800
11. Fabio Di Giannatonio, Ducati +12.916
12- Maverick Vinales, Aprilia, +12917
13. George Martin, Ducati +17,240
14. Alex Marquez, Honda +17.568
15. Jack Miller, Ducati, +17.687
16. Darren Bender, Yamaha +20.265
17. Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha, +20.296
18- Michele Perot, Ducati, +21.305
19. Remy Gardner, KTM, +30.548
20. Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha, +31.011
21- Raul Fernandez, KTM, +42.723
22. Lorenzo Savadore, Aprilia, one trip down
– Inna Bastianini, Ducati, 10 laps back
– Alex Rins, Suzuki, 16 laps back
– Joan Mir, Suzuki, 16 laps down
– Paul Espargaro, Honda, 19 laps
Drivers’ Championship standings after 8 of 20 Grand Prix:
1. Quarteraro 122 points. 2 Aleix Espargaró 114 3 Bastianini 94 4 Bagnaia 81 5 Zarco 75 6 Rins 69 7 Brad Binder 65 8 Miller 63 9 Marc Marquez 60 10 Mir 56 11 Oliveira 50 12 Pol Espargaró 40 13 Nakagami 38 14 Viñales 37 15 Martin 31 16 Marini 31 17 Bezzecchi 30 18 Alex Marquez 20 19 Morbidelli 19 20 Di Giannantonio 8 21. Dovizioso 8. 21. Darryn Binder 6. 23. Gardner 3.
1. Ducati 181 points. 2. Yamaha 122. 3. Aprilia 115. 4. KTM 93. 5. Suzuki 80. 6. Honda 75.
Team World Cup:
1. Aprilia Racing 151 points. 2. Ducati Lenovo 144. 3. Monster Energy Yamaha 141. 4. Suzuki Ecstar 125. 5. Red Bull KTM Factory 115. 6. Prima Pramac Racing 106. 7. Gresini Racing 102. 8. Repsol Honda 100. 9. Mooney VR46 Racing 61st 10th LCR Honda 58th 11th WithU Yamaha RNF 14th 12th Tech3 KTM Factory 3rd