It’s a special episode of Bar Sport about the conditions of Marc Marquez who was operated on the humerus for the third time on Thursday. Carlo Pernat and Livio Suppo also took part, together with Paolo Scalera and Matteo Aglio. The two top managers confronted each other on various issues inherent to Marc's conditions, here’s what they told us.
"It is becoming an ordeal - Pernat said - The operation was complicated, carried out by several specialists. I see Marc's presence in the 2021 MotoGP as difficult, he himself said he will not go back on track again until he is 100% fit. I believe his career is at stake. We all hope not because Marc is a phenomenon ”.
Livio Suppo, who also added his thoughts on the communication strategies of Honda and Alberto Puig, always reluctant to issue official statements, was also of the same opinion.
“Honda has certainly got its communication wrong in recent months. They have allowed too many assumptions to be made about this injury, I worked with the Japanese and I know how complicated it is to convince them to do certain things but I think this time it should have been handled differently, also because there was nothing to hide. Carlo Fiorani would have handled it differently, the problem is that now there are the Japanese and Alberto Puig, with the Spaniard a supporter of the theory of "never say anything". When you have a team principal so well matched to the Japanese, it's tough ".
Talk then revolved around the possible condition of Marquez when he returns to the track. Will the eight-time world champion be what he once was?
"I heard an interview with a doctor - said Livio Suppo - who confirmed that if the operation goes well, Marc should return to being 100% fit. Obviously he would be back on the bike after a long time and could have some difficulties but it always depends on the rider, for example Stoner did not race for 8 months and immediately went very well ”.
Pernat: "The fault lies with the doctors, a rider will race even if he is mortally wounded"
Also important was the interview given by Marc Marquez to DAZN Spain before the operation in which for the first time he pointed the finger at the doctors who had given him the go-ahead to race after the first surgery.
“Each rider has his own way of being, even if they feel terrible they want to race - said Pernat - We are talking about people who would have themselves put down rather than not race and Marc is one of them. He would race even if he was mortally wounded. I think the big problem in this story were the doctors who gave Marc the okay to race. I don't blame Marquez or Puig, I believe that there is a pending lawsuit and that perhaps it has already started between the Marquez family and those doctors ”.
The same opinion was also shared by Livio Suppo, who in the course of his career as a manager had already experienced a similar situation with Jack Miller.
“I have always said that the fault in this story lies with the doctors. Something similar happened to me in 2016 when Miller fractured a vertebra. The same doctors who gave the go-ahead to Marc, Mir and Charte also gave it to him, and I was perplexed. Having experienced closely the accident of Filippo Preziosi, a friend, I asked him to point me to other doctors who could give me an opinion and they all told me that Jack should not race because in every crash the risk of paralysis was at maximum. I couldn't convince Jack right away, he raced in 3 GPs before stopping, I told him that people thought he was useless and not that he was going slowly because of the injury ".
Now Puig is concentrating on Marquez's replacement. Who is the favourite?
"Now Honda will wait to find out more about Marc's recovery - said Suppo - I think they have time because Dovizioso is without a contract and there is also Bradl. The problem with Dovizioso is where to put him after Marc's return ”.
"In my opinion there is a plan B and a plan C - said Pernat - The B is Bradl, then there is Dovizioso who perhaps doesn't even want to race. To take the rider from Forlì they will have to make him a contract for a few years and then become a test rider ”.
Suppo: "I wanted to bring Mir to Honda, with him, Miller and Morbidelli the future would have been secured"
All this talk then led, thanks to the questions from viewers on You Tube and Facebook, to a general discussion on Honda and on Alberto Piug's management of the riders and the team. Obviously, it was Livio Suppo - Honda team manager before the Spaniard – who intervened.
“When I was still in Honda I talked to Mir, because Nakamoto and I thought he could be Dani Pedrosa's heir. Afterwards I left and as far as I know the negotiation went on but Puig said to Mir that he would sign with Honda but with no guarantees on the team. Joan wanted a factory team and therefore preferred the Suzuki team to a Honda satellite team. If they had taken Mir in place of Lorenzo they would have fought for the title and secured their future. Then as far as the future is concerned they are trying with Alex Marquez but by chance, only because Jorge retired. The choice of Espargarò does not seem to me like Puig, he was someone who with me and Nakamoto had sponsored the passage of Miller from Moto3 to MotoGP. In addition to this, there was also the error of Morbidelli, I was the one who put him in Marc VDS, but the Japanese never wanted to believe in his potential ".
Pernat: "Stoner the fastest in the world, but I didn't like the way he behaved"
After the main part of the LIVE programme was over, the focus turned to other matters, starting with the condition of Casey Stoner and the reasons for his farewell to MotoGP
"I haven't heard from Casey in a while - said Suppo - I heard of his chronic fatigue syndrome and I hope he will be able to get treatment so he can enjoy his early retirement. I know that it is a strange disease and that the treatments are not very clear ”.
On his retirement ...
“I think only Casey would have the courage to give up a lot of money doing something you do well and at which you are still competitive. You have to take off your hat to him”.
And Pernat also had his say: “Stoner was the fastest rider in the world, all of us who love bikes say so, and maybe he still is. What I didn't like, however, was that press conference to communicate his retirement at Le Mans almost without telling Honda… "
“Yes, he had a difficult character - Livio replied - I always tried to make him understand that what for him were a pain in the ass, like interviews and events, were part of his job. If he had raced in enduro, for example, he would not have had those commitments but he would also have earned much less. If you have the talent to race in MotoGP, your job is not just riding a motorcycle but also doing other activities that make you a lot of money. I didn't like the fact that he left talking badly about an environment that had made him an idol of the people and also wealthy ”.
Suppo: "In Yamaha they have to understand why the previous year’s bike is better"
The LIVE then ended talking about Yamaha with the decision to take Quartararo to the factory team in 2021 in place of Rossi. Here is what Suppo thought of the idea:
"Quartararo proved to be very strong in 2019 while this year, like all the Yamaha factory riders, he alternated good performances with bad races. Yamaha will have to understand the reason for this "
“The problem is that they are riding a bike that is not in order - Pernat replied immediately - When you know there are problems, a lot of riders ride with tension”.
"I don't agree - concluded Livio Suppo - Yamaha won 7 races out of 14 with three different riders, this means that the bike is not bad. Aside from the engine problem, the M1 went well, but the problem is that the bike from the year before often has fewer problems than the factory one. It happened with Zarco, Quartararo and Morbidelli over the years. They panic because the top speed is not at the level of their rivals and they start trying new things, like at the Misano tests this year ".