Yesterday he said it laughing: "it would be easier to win the lottery than to see me on the podium in Barcelona". Unfortunately for him, the evidence proved him right. Not even the home atmosphere could do anything to lift Marc Marquez's performance and mood. Today's 19th place is yet another confirmation of the crisis Honda is in at the moment.
“The situation is complicated and I knew it would be like this - Marc spread his arms - All of our bike's weak points are emphasized by this circuit: we lose in long corners and when there's little grip. I'm not making excuses, we are behind and we must not have high expectations, but work to improve".
Can you describe your problems?
“More than the grip of the track it’s the layout, because the layout is all long corners and long corners is where we lose. If we can make the stop and go. If we can make a quick pick up, there it’s acceptable. You can manage a bit the problems and you can brake later. But when it's long corner like in sector 2, we are losing 0.6 only in three corners. Those corners are not so difficult for the rider, it’s just go wide, keep the gas and just wait until you have the grip. But we are losing only 0.6 in three corners. The rest of the circuit we are losing acceptable things. But it’s there where we expected to suffer and we are suffering. And even for my riding style it’s not the best track, so it’s multiplied.”
How do you deal with this situation?
“You just try to sit in the garage, don't look at the results… don't check the position. This is the only way to ride now and to not have a big frustration. It’s what I'm doing and, personally speaking, my feeling on the bike was good. I was able to play with the bike and it's there where tomorrow I will keep going. But the result will be more or less the same.”
For a champion like you, used to winning, it must be very difficult.
“You have to try, stay there, do laps and not lose the good feelings on the bike. It can happen when you try many things: you relax and lose tension. That's why at the end of FP2 I tried to do a good lap. For the moment we have to do this, I don't know how long it will last, maybe in 3 months I'll say that it will be impossible to continue like this, that it's no longer me. When you are in this situation you have to look for a solution so as not to make you become bitter about it”.
Are the Misano tests a hope you are clinging to right now?
“When you are in a difficult situation, you think about the future, about having something different. On a motorbike you can't improve 2 seconds from one day to the next, or one and a half, but you can think about getting close, staying in the top 10, nothing unreal. We need to keep working, for tomorrow the situation will not change, but definitely we need to keep going because still remain many races before 2024. But it's true that in Misano we will try the new bike so we will see if it's an extra boost for the future. From there to the Valencia tests there won't be time to improve, so if that first test is a disaster, we'll have to wait for the February tests to improve, but that will be the basis."
How did it happen this year?
“This bike is the same as the Valencia test last year and I said that not much could have been done with this base. I tried because I felt good physically, but after that I crashed, 3 or 4 times during the week, I hurt myself and changed my mentality".