Honda today issued a press release containing comments from the press conference held by HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto and Repsol Honda Team Principal Livio Suppo. The press release appears below:
End of season debrief with Shuhei Nakamoto and Livio Suppo
After another Triple Crown season, HRC’s Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto and Team Principal of the Repsol Honda Team, Livio Suppo, took time out of their busy testing programme to speak to the World’s media to evaluate the 2013 season.
It has been another stellar season for the Repsol Honda Team, HRC’s Factory outfit. They won all three titles - Rider, Constructor and Team - with rookie Marc Marquez being crowned World Champion in the final race of the season and teammate Dani Pedrosa taking third in the Championship. Marc took Honda’s top result eleven times, and Dani was Honda’s top points-earner seven times and a Honda rider finished on the podium in every race this season.
Shuhei Nakamoto - HRC Executive Vice President
"We are very happy! To be honest before the start of the season we didn’t expect Marc to win the Championship this year. We knew he had the potential to win several races and he learned very quickly! Usually a rookie struggles to keep a good lap time throughout the entire race, as the MotoGP machine is very demanding on tyres, but by Assen Marc understood how to manage the tyres to the end of the race. Before Dani had the accident at Sachsenring he was in very good shape but afterwards, he was unable to physically fight for the victories. Then also the Aragón incident which was very unfortunate. Without the accidents, then Dani would have been fighting to the end with Jorge and Marc for sure. This season we have seen that the Yamaha and Honda machines are very similar in performance, with nine victories each. 2014 season has already started and we must work hard over the Winter to improve our machine and make it more competitive, this is our goal. Initial feedback on the RCV1000R Production Racer has been very positive, but they haven’t had enough time to find the correct setup at this moment. Overall comments from the riders are very positive but to make a good lap time they will need more time”
Livio Suppo - Team Principal - Repsol Honda Team
"Both riders have done an excellent job this season! With Marc it’s been a real surprise, we knew he was fast but his consistency has been unbelievable. He has also managed the pressure extremely well after what happened in Phillip Island and especially in Valencia. He always kept smiling and ensured the team spirit was strong and still in a positive light. The approach in Valencia was perfect, it’s very impressive to see a young rider so mature and able to manage such difficult situations. Unfortunately Dani has been very unlucky, as with almost no crashes this season but he got injured in one of the few in Sachsenring, when he was leading the Championship, and then due to no fault of his own he had the DNF in Aragón. Without these two races where I believe he could have won, or at worst finished second, it’s easy to see he would have also been fighting for the title in Valencia. Still his potential remains very high and we are sure that next year he will remain in the title fight. Jorge has also had a fantastic year and we know he will be back more determined again in 2014. We are very happy with both riders and we look forward to next year, when we will again start from zero, with new rules - 20 litres, ECU - things that are quite a big change from this year”