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MotoGP, Zarco: "the Honda is not ready for the podium, but Marquez took pole at Portimao"

The Frenchman looks with confidence to Marc's prowess on the Honda last season in the Algarve. "We will have fewer disadvantages than on a fast circuit like Qatar. We will use the first races for development, we know that the bike is not ready for the podium but it is better than in the past"

MotoGP: Zarco:

The difficulties of the Japanese manufacturers, Honda first and foremost, are the other side of the coin of a Ducati-powered MotoGP which in recent years has undergone a radical change thanks to the development of aerodynamics and lowering devices. A change that has not only affected the performance of the riders, who are often forced to adapt their style, but which has also upset the balance of power. Just think of the recent abandonment of MotoGP by Suzuki, of a Yamaha in difficulty in development with only two bikes on the grid compared to eight Ducatis, and of a Honda whose recent farewell (or a goodbye?) by Marquez for a Borgo Panigale bike has certainly marked a turning point, for better or worse, for its future in the coming years.

Now left alone at the helm of Honda, which is struggling to keep up with its rivals in the stormy sea of development, are the Spaniard Joan Mir, Japan’s Nakagami, the Frenchman Zarco and the Italian Luca Marini. The latter two coming, it is no coincidence, from Ducati. And if on the one hand the young Marini has the arduous task of ferrying the development of the Japanese manufacturer in the official team in this transition period, it is the Frenchman Zarco in Lucio Cecchinello's team who is opening a glimmer of light in view of the next race in Portimao.

In fact, last year, at the start of the championship, Marc was even able to grab a pole, with a tow, on the Algarve circuit, then finishing the sprint on the third step of the podium. An excellent result if you consider that at the start of the season in Qatar, the best results for Honda were Mir's 15th place in the sprint, and Zarco's 12th in the long race. Of course, the comparison is difficult, it's still Marc Marquez, but the potential to do better than in Qatar is there, and the Frenchman explains the reasons.

"It's clear that we still have a few tenths of a lap to go - admits Zarco - but that will come with time and with the development of the bike. The sensations on the bike, however, are excellent, I'm having fun and this is already something positive. Now the information we have from the data collected are clearer, and in Portugal we will try a different set-up. Looking at Marc's benchmarks from last year I was impressed by his speed, this means that compared to a fast circuit like Qatar we can have fewer disadvantages than our rivals ".

In fact, it is no mystery that having tested in Qatar influenced the form factor during the race, and that in Portimao we will be able to have a clearer perspective of the situation. The direction to be taken, also thanks to the concessions, is outlined.

"The weekend in Qatar created a real base for us - continues the Frenchman - because even if we had done a simulation during the tests, we never get the same information in the race. We have to use these first races for development, because at the moment we know that the bike is not ready for the podium, but it has still improved compared to previous seasons."

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