The championship hasn't started in the greatest way for Honda and after two Grand Prix, Marquez and Pedrosa are lying eighth and tenth respectively in the standings, -37 and -39 from the front.
Marquez has never crashed during the first two races of the year, not since coming to MotoGP, in addition he's always reached the podium in at least one of the two races, if not both. In 2014, as you will remember, he won the first ten races of the year, in 2013 and 2016 he was first in one and third in the other. In 2015, he scored 5th and a win.
To find a similar season start by the world champion we have to go back to the Moto2 days: back then, he failed to score points in the first three Grand Prix, but finished the championship in second place regardless, behind Stefan Bradl. As for Honda, the last double DNF, owing to a double crash, dates back to the Australian GP of 2014.
So HRC leaves Rio Hondo and Argentina in a very different position than it had hoped, particularly considering how the race began.
Despite this, Livio Suppo remains calm and motivated.
“We're looking at it positively, neither of them hurt themselves - explains the Italian team principal - and both were going strong. Also, Cal Crutchlow scored a podium, and so the bike, despite it not being 100% yet and needing further development, is more competitive than last year”.
Looking at the telemetry data, have you seen anything that we didn't see on TV, was Marquez going too fast?
“If we look at the times, Marc was going fast, but not that fast. It was his race pace, also Dani was a little way behind Danilo Petrucci but he didn't exaggerate. Unfortunately, Rio Hondo is a very slippery track with these bumps that lead to mistakes”.
How is morale?
“Right now, we need to keep calm and not panic, the bike has room for development. Also in the warm-up, both riders were pleased. There is a margin to do well.”.
But the position in the standings is what it is.
“Undoubtedly, but the championship has only just begun. I remember 2011, when Casey crashed in an incident with Valentino at Jerez at the start of the season. It was race two. But then we won the title regardless. We need to take things race by race and do our best".