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Watanabe: "Honda will never quit MotoGP and we will give Marquez a winning bike"

The president of HRC: “It's the way to make him stay with us. We rested on past achievements, but we are increasing our budget and people. The application of concessions would be a blessing"

MotoGP: Watanabe: "Honda will never quit MotoGP and we will give Marquez a winning bike"


When a company is in crisis, rumours about it tend to abound. This is what is happening to Honda which is perhaps going through its most difficult moment from a sporting point of view. The results are not arriving, the riders are impatient and there are some observers who claim that the Japanese giant is even thinking of withdrawing from MotoGP.

This inference was strongly denied by Koji Watanabe, president of HRC, interviewed by Akira Nishimura for the Shueisha Shinsho website.

“Well, let's deny it here and there. We will never withdraw,” were his precise words.

Another rumour from the paddock is that Marquez is prepared to leave Honda.

“Rumours that he may have been invited by other camps for next year, even if they are not true, the place where such rumours come out is the current Honda. It seems to symbolize the situation - admitted the HRC president – Every time I go to the MotoGP site, I always have a long talk with Marc. ‘We have to build and deliver the machine you want, and we'll do it as soon as possible.’ Also, "Since you will have your own timeline, if there is something that we do not agree with, it may be possible to make each decision at that time. However, both he and we have found a common goal in that, but let's work together and work hard together without giving up until the end."

Watanabe's reasoning is simple: to keep Marquez "we have no choice but to build fast bikes and machines that can win. Something that is now missing. We must do it quickly and understand why this situation has come about, so as not to repeat certain mistakes.”

“It's difficult to pinpoint the cause, but I think one of the reasons is that we haven't made any drastic changes to our methods because we've been a little restless about our past performance” was the president's mea culpa.

How do you get out of this crisis?

“Budget and people are the quickest things to deal with – was his answer – We are strengthening our development personnel to deal with people. This is an increase in the number of employees that has not been seen in recent years in MotoGP. We must improve this season's machine, and we have to do things from next year onwards, so in order to avoid confusion between what we are doing now and what we are doing next year, we will increase the number of people to clearly separate them.”

There will also be changes from the point of view of working method and integration between the different areas of the company.

“I think that we should have been actively promoting the exchange of two-wheeled and four-wheeled technology from the past”.

Watanabe also commented on the possibility of having concessions to help speed up development.

“It should be the direction to get the consensus of everyone participating. As far as we are concerned, if the concession is applied, it will be a blessing because development will proceed better if it is applied” he said.


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