Honda's not having a good time. The choice to revolutionize the RC213V isn’t paying off, for now, and the usual Marquez isn’t enough to save the boat, this time. Marc – on a bike that he still doesn't feel his and with some aches and pains – is trying to give it his all – but the fact that he still hasn’t gotten a podium says a lot about how difficult the road he’s taken is.
In Monday's tests at Le Mans, the Spanish rider rolled up his sleeves to try and straighten out the season, in hopes that the various experiments (including a new aerodynamic evolution) would bear fruits at Le Mans. At any other time, Marquez would have been among the favorites on the French track, on which he won 3 times in the past, but today he doesn’t want to get his hopes up.
"Overall, the weekend in Jerez was good if we also include the test, because we were able to learn many things,” Marc explained. “Now we’re going to France to see what we’ll be able to do. The important thing is to continue to grow, continue to improve, and continue to get closer to the top. We made progress in Jerez, and now we have continue to move forward, it’s important, especially after the test, to see how things go. I’ve had some good races in Le Mans, others more challenging. It can depend a lot on the conditions, but they look good for this weekend."
On the other side of the garage, there’s Pol Espargarò, who seems on his way to bidding farewell to Honda and the end of the season. But it’s important for him to show that he’s still competitive to be able to find another bike for next year.
"Last year, I think Le Mans was one of the first weekends where we could really start to show our potential,” he recalled. “I know how the bike and I have improved since then, so I can't wait to come back and put into practice what we discovered during the test. I’ve had some good races in Le Mans. Cooler temperatures and a lot of grip fit my riding style very well. In the MotoGP, everyone is very close at the moment, so we can't rely on the past. It doesn’t matter. We need to work well from the beginning of the weekend, qualify well, and fight hard during the race."