2022 ended without a win for Honda, bottom of the constructors' standings with 155 points scored in the season. One of the most complicated years in the history of the Golden Wing manufacturer, which before today had only failed to win before in 2004 and 2020. Those were two seasons marked, the first, by the departure of Valentino Rossi and, the second, by Marc Marquez's well-known injury in the second race of the year, which kept the eight-time world champion away from the track for all 14 races of a championship upset by the Covid-19 pandemic. Two completely different years, but united by the same factor: the absence of the Honda benchmark rider.
Is that enough to justify the abyss into which the Tokyo constructor has plummeted? Not really, because Marquez, fresh from the fourth operation on his injured arm, has shown that he is not very far from the levels of the past, while the RC213V has changed drastically compared to previous years, so much so that Marc feels "almost as if he had changed brand”. In 2022, the Honda became longer, less powerful and changed its weight distribution, proving to be more competitive than last year's bike, but also more unpredictable.
The RC213V has changed its character and this didn't go down well with Marquez, who has repeatedly reiterated that he doesn't feel at ease astride the new prototype: "My position on the bike is the same as the previous one, it's more about the character that got worse. Performance-wise, the 2022 RC213V is better, but the way I ride, I'm not comfortable with it. I feel it heavy - explained the Iberian champion - In circuits like Phillip Island and Qatar it's fine, but when you have to stop it and put it into the corner it's a problem”. For this reason, on the eight-time world champion's wish list there is "a winning bike that can be consistent on all the tracks during the course of a championship, like the Ducati".
Could going back be the solution? Not for the Spaniard, who is aware that if a rider wants to stay at the top, he has to keep up with a constantly evolving championship. “Perhaps a 'Marquez-style' bike, the old one, wouldn't be good for me now. Before the bikes were very low and short, now they are becoming big and tall" said the eight-time world champion, who on more than one occasion has highlighted how the style of MotoGP is changing.
Marc is ready to play his part, but the contribution of the rider is not enough to take the RC213V back to the top, the support of the entire Honda company is needed, as it must rebuild the feeling between the eight-time world champion and his bike. After all, Marquez has already shown that he has the right character. Now it's up to Honda.