“We’re not where we want to be, we’re far from the pace, but anything can happen and we face the World Cup with enthusiasm and enthusiasm,” says Marc, who downplays Honda’s problems
“They are suffering and in a difficult situation, but I know Marc and what he does in the Grand Prix. I know he will improve,” says his brother Álex, ultra-motivated after his debut with the Ducati
The 2023 MotoGP World Championship starts next week, from March 24 to 26, at the Algarve Autodrome, in Portimao137 days after saying goodbye to the previous edition in Cheste with absolute triumph by the Italian duo formed by Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati. And after what has been seen in the last few days in preseason, everything indicates that the championship will start in the same way.
In the tests held this weekend, Bagnaia pulverized his 2021 record on the Portuguese track by more than seven tenths and Ducati placed seven of its riders among the ten fastest. In the wake of ‘I’m sorry‘ stood Zarco, Marini, Bezzecchi, Bastianini and a Alex Marquez willing to be noticed at his debut with the Desmosedici.
an authentic Ducati show of power to which they could barely respond, the runner-up Fabio Quartararo, third with the Yamaha after “taking a giant leap” this winter, and somewhat more timidly the Aprilia. Despite the physical problems of his ‘captain’ Aleix Espargaró, who will surely have to undergo surgery to resolve his compartment syndrome, Noale’s men have gone from being the most modest brand in the premier class, to fighting regularly in the front zone. And all this in less than two years. Maverick Vinales still has a lot to say with the RS-GP and also Miguel Oliveira and Raúl Fernández with the RNF satellite motorcycle.
Honda does not respond
The ‘cross’ of the preseason has been for Honda. The Japanese factory has not managed to live up to what was promised and its eight-time champion Marc Márquez is going to have a very difficult time starting the course among the favorites. After his ‘ordeal’ of injuries in the last three seasons, the ’93’ has finally managed to get to the start of a championship full of form. But for the moment and despite the changes in the team’s sporting structure and the intense work in Japan to try to correct the course of the bike, the truth is that Neither Márquez nor his new teammate Joan Mir ended the preseason with the best feelings.
The Spaniard, world champion in 2020, was the best among the Honda riders on Sunday, although in 13th position, ahead of Marquez and Alex Rins with the LCR motorcycle, while Nakagami closed in 20th place. “We are not where we want to be, we are far off the pace, but anything can happen, we are not that bad either. Obviously if you go like Bagnaia it is easier for good things to happen, but we start the season with enthusiasm and desire” valued Márquez trying to make a positive readingafter noting the difficulties of the RC213V, especially in fast corners with little traction, and dismiss the dress rehearsal in Portimao to 8 tenths of Bagnaia.
“My brother told me that he had tried a lot of things on the bike and that not everything worked. They were general comments, because we are in different factories. They are suffering and they are in a difficult situation, but I know Marc and what he does in the Grand Prix. I know it will improve”, said Álex Márquezseventh to 4 tenths and ultra-motivated in his new stage in Gresini, after ‘getting rid’ of a Honda that he failed to squeeze as he wished.
“I have been able to understand how to go fast and how not in the simulation; I have seen if I could push more or not and where to make the time. But one thing is to understand what you need and the other is that the Ducatis are giving you a few tenths per lap. It is there where you do not have to stress, concentrate on yours, get your rhythm and already on the race weekend we will see what we find ”, he conceded Marc Márquez, which will start the season with a bike “similar to last year’s concept. With that we know that we will have good and worse circuits and when we have four or five Grands Prix we will see where we are”.