Honda

Marc Marquez: The Lessons Of A Lost Year

Marc Márquez' absence has left a gaping hole in MotoGP for the last seven months. Sure, the racing has been fantastic, and Joan Mir was a worthy winner of the 2020 title. But the fact that the man who won six of the last eight championships was missing from the series was the elephant in the room throughout last season, a presence noted all the more for his not being there.

The significance of Márquez' absence has been made all the greater by the near total radio silence out of the Spaniard's entourage. With the exception of a single interview given to Spanish TV broadcaster DAZN, the only thing that we have heard from Marc Márquez have been leaks from various sources around him.

The last time the general media had a chance to speak to the six-time MotoGP champion was last July, at the second round at Jerez, after his abortive comeback from the injury sustained in the first race. Márquez shattered the humerus in his right upper arm when he crashed out between Turns 3 and 4 at the opening MotoGP race of the season at Jerez. Márquez was doing push ups just hours after surgery, and decided to try to race at the Andalusian Grand Prix at Jerez, just a few days later.

Too early

Back to top

Repsol Honda Press Release: Marc Marquez Speaks On Injury Recovery, 2021 Hopes, Pol Espargaro As Teammate

The Repsol Honda team issued transcripts of the interviews from the Repsol Honda online launch. In the video, Marc Marquez talked about his recovery, his injury, and his expectations for 2021. Below is the transcript, the questions were asked by Honda PR:


Q: First of all, Marc, how are you and how is the recovery?

Back to top

LCR Honda Castrol Team Launch: Alex Marquez Q&A On Qualifying, What He Wants From Honda, What He Needs To Work On

For 2021, HRC have shifted Alex Márquez over from the factory Repsol Honda team into the satellite LCR Honda squad, albeit with full factory backing. It was a decision taken before the Covid-19 delayed 2020 season even started, and the younger Márquez brother had even had a chance to prove himself.

With two podiums, consecutive second places at a wet Le Mans and a dry Aragon, Alex Márquez proved the doubters wrong, and made many wonder if HRC hadn't jumped the gun on demoting him to LCR in favor of Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard had made enormous progress through the second half of 2020, and left a very different impression at the end of the season compared to the start.

His one weakness was qualifying. Alex Márquez' best grid position was tenth, at Aragon 2, the only track where he managed to qualify on the fourth row. He usually found himself starting from a couple of rows further back.

This is one area which Alex Márquez will have to work on for 2021, and one he has attempted to address during his preparation for the coming season. After the online launch of the LCR Honda Castro Team, the Spaniard's side of the LCR garage, Alex Márquez spoke to a group of journalists to look ahead to 2021. Here's what he had to tell us:

Q: You were a big surprise last year, and people will look at you in a different way. Will this year be easier?

AM: I hope it's more easy. It’s good that people look at you in a different way. The second part of the season was a little bit of a surprise, because the first part was not really good. It was not a disaster but it was a difficult time for me. The second part was really good. I was improving day by day. I think I still have many things to learn and to improve from that category. Last year was a strange year and a bit too short.

Back to top

Interview: HRC's Tetsuhiro Kuwata And Takehiro Koyasu On A Mediocre 2020 With Marc Marquez, Fixing The RC213V, And 2021 And Beyond

In the last weeks of December, Japan's leading MotoGP journalist Akira Nishimura spoke to two of the key players in Honda's MotoGP project: Honda Racing Corporation General Manager Tetsuhiro Kuwata, and 2020 RC213V development leader Takehiro Koyasu. As a native Japanese speaker, Nishimura-san got more out of the HRC bosses than an English-speaking journalist would. The conversation covered Honda's MotoGP riders, an analysis of their thoroughly mediocre 2020 season, and their expectations for 2021.

In 2020, Honda had to endure a tough season, in contrast to previous years. Needless to say, one of the biggest reasons for that was the absence of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). His right humerus fracture at the opening round in Jerez sidelined the eight-time world champion for all the races of the 2020 season, a costly loss for HRC.

Meanwhile, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IEMITSU) made a significant improvement in both riding skills and race results. Also, MotoGP rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) did a fantastic job with two second-place finishes despite it being his debut year in the premier class. On the other hand, the Brit Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) decided to draw his racing career to a close at the end of the year. With these abundant topics for the review of the 2020 season and the preview for the forthcoming 2021 season, we interviewed Honda Racing Corporation General Manager Tetsuhiro Kuwata and 2020 RC213V development leader Takehiro Koyasu.

First of all, we asked them for a comprehensive review and the preview, then moved on to the detailed Q&A with them.

Kuwata: "It is quite simple. We lost entirely throughout the 2020 season. However, we also learned a lot from these defeats, and we believe these hardships will make us even stronger.

Back to top

News Round Up: Launch Season Coming, 2022 Contracts, Rossi Interview, Honda Updates

Around this time in a normal year, we would be back from the launch of a couple of the MotoGP manufacturers, and looking forward to a couple more as we prepared to travel to Sepang for the first test of the year. But this is not a normal year, of course. Nor was last year, for that matter.

So instead of packing my bags in preparation of the test at Sepang – originally scheduled for the 19th-21st of February – I, like the rest of the media, are checking our microphones and internet connections to get ready to do the MotoGP launch season from home. And not just the launch season: in all probability, the media won't be allowed to physically attend a MotoGP race for the first half of the 2021 season at the very least. But at least we will have a 2021 MotoGP season.

Back to top

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoGP’s biggest winners: Rossi and Honda

MotoGP’s four-stroke era enters its 20th season in 2021, so here are the biggest winners, plus why MotoGP technical rules will remain unchanged till 2026

The 2021 MotoGP season will be the 73rd season of motorcycle grand prix racing and, more significantly, the 20th year of the four-stroke MotoGP world championship.

In 2002 the premier-class engine size was changed for the first time since 1949, with 990cc four-strokes introduced to eliminate the 500cc two-strokes.

Back to top

Jerez WorldSBK Wash Out After Rain Stops Play

Rain forced the WorldSBK teams assembled at Jerez to abandon the test planned for the past two days. Though the weather was better on Thursday than it had been on Wednesday, the track took a long time to dry out, and with only 8 days of testing for the season, the teams decided to call off the test instead.

Honda and Kawasaki will return to Jerez next week, with Honda testing for two days, on January 27th and 28th, and Kawasaki to test on 28th. The forecast for that period is currently for good weather, which promises a dry track.

Back to top

Rain Means Track Is Mostly Silent At Jerez WorldSBK Test

Heavy rain throughout the day meant no action for most of the WorldSBK grid at Jerez for the first test of the year. Nothing was to be learned in the wet, and so the day was spent sitting in garages hoping for better weather. Maverick Viñales, who had been intending to test on a Yamaha R1 production bike, decided to abandon the test altogether.

No such luxury for HRC MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl, who put in a total of 20 laps on the RC213V, as he worked his way through a list of test items for the 2021 Honda MotoGP machine. Bradl was joined on track by Leonardo Taccini, Orelac World Supersport rider, making his debut on the ZX-6RR.

All hope is now on better weather tomorrow, though the forecast is not positive. Light rain is forecast for most of the day.

Back to top

Bikes Back On Track As WorldSBK Testing Resumes At Jerez

Despite the best efforts of the coronavirus, the winter break is nearly over, for the WorldSBK series at least. On Wednesday, half of the WorldSBK grid take to the track at Jerez for the first major test of the 2021 season. They will be working on their preparations for the season opener, not at Phillip Island, due to the travel restrictions still in place for Australia due to the pandemic, but at the Assen circuit in The Netherlands on April 23rd.

The weather does not look like playing ball for the first full test of the season. The forecast is currently for rain on both days of the test, heaviest on Wednesday but easing off on Thursday. Wednesday may see a dry spell in the afternoon, but whether that means the track will dry enough to produce usable data is open to question.

Back to top

Pages

Subscribe to Honda