The situation in Honda without Marc Marquez is nothing short of bleak. In 6 races it has not been on the podium even once, the factory team is in last place in the teams’ classification and the riders' classification is looking pretty bad as well. The only glimmer of light comes from the LCR box, that of Takaaki Nakagami, who has held the Honda flag high in the last few GPs.
The Japanese rider, however, is on last year's RC213V and its performance had cast some doubts on that of the 2020 bike. First Crutchlow repeatedly claimed that the 2019 Honda is better and more refined than the new one. The counter-proof had not yet been there, until yesterday.
During yesterday’s testing Nakagami was given an opportunity to step on the bike that Bradl usually uses, i.e. this year's Honda.
"I felt good - he said - I was also supposed to do a long run but unfortunately I crashed, I hit a bump in the first corner and closed the front".
This small incident aside, Taka received only positive feelings from this test.
“I didn't notice any negative aspects compared to the 2019 bike. I was at ease and I did good times. In the pits there were more than 10 engineers waiting for me to hear my comments, it was nice" he smiled.
Nakagami, however, will not be able to ride it in the race…
"I would have no doubts which one I would choose: the new bike - he assured - but for this year it will be impossible. I enjoyed riding it and I hope to be able to do it again in some tests ”.
The Japanese rider also worked on the 2019 Honda ahead of the next race at Misano and was happy with the steps forward made.
"We had lost our way, now we have found it again - he explained - We have improved in all areas of the track, changing a lot of things and focusing above all on the rear part of the bike, where I have a new shock absorber. Last Friday and Saturday were two bad days, now it's better but our opponents will have made some steps forward too”.