Marc Marquez was the protagonist of a positive Saturday at Honda's home track. The Spaniard achieved the passage from Q1 to Q2, and then in the race, especially in the first laps, he put in an excellent performance which ended with a seventh place after battling with the Ducatis of Bezzecchi and Zarco. A result that is worth a lot especially when compared to what was done by the other Honda riders, who instead continue to suffer terribly, including Mir who, after India's performance, dropped back to the bottom of the rankings.
Work is underway in Honda, things are changing and there are those who think that this is an extreme manoeuvre to convince Marquez to stay, while others are convinced that the decision to change pace derives precisely from HRC's awareness that they are about to lose their spearhead rider, thus risking experiencing an even worse 2024 than this lacklustre 2023.
"It was a good Saturday, without a doubt - said Marc - I went from Q1 to Q2 and managed to get the third row on the grid which for me was already an optimistic target. In the Sprint at the start I was in front, but then from lap 5 I started to lose grip, so the others had a bit more. I was losing grip and was taking too many risks when braking. I decided to give up a bit and finish the race, I took huge risks in the first laps. I faced them as if it were a qualifying and it's something you can do for 4 laps, but not for 12. But it was a good Sprint in the end, I would have liked to do more but it was impossible. In my opinion today we have already seen what can happen tomorrow".
Did you think you could resist the Ducatis?
"I defended as long as I could, but you can do so as long as you and your opponent have a similar pace. Afterwards Marco had a small speed advantage and he exploited it by passing me. Zarco also did the same, but to It's normal for me, they had more pace."
How did it go with the tyres?
"Tyre wear wasn't very high in general, but the bike slides too much when accelerating. When the situation is like this you can do a few good laps, but in the long run you can't maintain certain levels, also because you start to wear out the tyre anyway more than the others. As a rider you feel this situation more regarding the rear of the bike, because you start to slide more. But in reality you also lose when braking, you start to risk more than you should and that's where you have to be careful."
Was there a definitive meeting with Honda bosses regarding your future?
"This morning I met some Honda people, new people also arrived in the garage. I see that they have changed the project leader, there are many new faces, many new engineers. It is a great company, it has the numbers to do it and is changing many things, it is imposing a new strategy. Let's see if it's enough or not. I think there is time to develop a good bike that doesn't lose too much from Ducati and the other bikes."
What will you do?
"For as long as I'm on this bike, I'm a Honda employee and I work to achieve victory by always giving my best. When I can attack, I do so."
What do you expect from tomorrow's race?
"I think the trend will be the same tomorrow, maybe I'll be fast at the start but then I'll start to lose ground as the laps go by. It's not yet clear which tyre to use for the race, tomorrow morning I'll try the medium on the rear to make a back-to-back".
Did you expect Honda to change something, or were you surprised by their reaction?
"In every big company, when the results don't arrive you have to change something. The riders, the technicians, the bike or anything. It seems that they are changing some important names in the project and have chosen new people. But it's certainly not my responsibility, it’s Honda’s. It takes time, because when new people arrive they have to have time to understand the situation and then bring new ideas. I think the objective is to shorten this timing as much as possible, to become competitive again."