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MotoGP, Marini: "The Japanese are precise, not slow: they rebuilt the bike in three races"

"They want to make sure everything works before they bring it in, but the turnaround time is very good, every part of the bike will be new for testing on Monday. It will be a crucial day to start getting good results."

MotoGP: Marini:

The first three races of the year have not been easy for Honda, to the point that in Austin Luca Marini was the only one of the riders of the Japanese manufacturer to see the finish line in the GP, but without being able to bring home a single point. A situation that Marini is convinced could change after this weekend in Jerez. Or to be more precise, after the test day scheduled for Monday 29 at the Andalusian track.

"The engineers have built a new bike based on feedback and references from last year, to try to improve performance, especially in terms of acceleration and top speed, which were the weakest points of the 2023 bike. Now, however, we are lacking so much in the middle of the corners. In entry, on turn-in, and in the first phase of corner exit we lose a lot of time, and even if we have gained something in braking, acceleration and top speed, we lose too much," said Luca, explaining the shortcomings of the RC213V and the areas in which Honda is trying to intervene. "Since winter testing we have already been working in the right direction to find that corner entry that Honda has always had among its strong points. We have made many changes to the bike, following my way and my feelings, and after the tests in Barcelona we understood many important things. This weekend will also be important, but Monday's test will be even more crucial to start getting good results. "

As in the past races, the HRC rider will again focus on the race weekend before turning his attention to the testing session.

"This is a race weekend for us, as the last ones have been. Then on Monday we will have to change our mindset, to try to understand every little part of the bike and test whatever we can test again, because we have so many parts to choose the best ones from and then we have to put all the pieces together and see how the bike performs," Marini underlined.

It's easy to go off track with so many elements to try.

"No, because if you work well, testing the elements properly, that is, reserving the right timing for each part and making comparisons, it is not a problem," the 26-year-old clarified. The problem is time, also because during testing there'is a limited number of tires we can use, we can do a certain number of laps, again because of a tire and engine issue, and making changes to the bike always takes time, even one hour when it comes to big elements."

A large amount of work, for a rider who until last year was defending the colors of a satellite team.

"Right now I have to do more than I would have expected because we are struggling, but as soon as our bike is competitive we will have a lot less elements to test. Even just one, maybe. Whether it's a swingarm, or a new chassis, develop one thing at a time like the other manufacturers are doing right now," noted the Italian, who all in all doesn't mind testing new parts.

"I always leave home excited. Until Thursday I'm overjoyed," he commented with a laugh, " Then on Friday, when you see yourself down there at the bottom, my competitive side starts to say, 'it would be better to be higher up,' but I know perfectly well that there are steps to take, but I'm sure that if we keep sticking together and working well all together, we'll get to where we want to be sooner. We just have to stay calm, serene and continue to be happy, because I'm enjoying testing. I like it, because then I have time to ride and understand the bike even better."

The cohesion of the Honda riders is an important aspect for Luca, but not as important as the accuracy in providing their feedback to the engineers, "We are all pretty much aligned. The important thing, and one that I've seen make a lot of difference, is the fact that they don't just lay out their feelings, but explain everything to the Japanese engineers in as much detail as possible. The throttle percentage, the lean angle, the way you brake... The more detailed you are, the more they can understand and bring you something that makes a difference."

Indeed, in his first few months with the Japanese manufacturer, Marini has not encountered that slowness in reactions that has been much talked about in the past.

"In my opinion, it's not about slowness but precision: they have very high standards and that's something I really like ," he admitted, " They have to be 100 percent sure that something works, but the response time has been very good, because we have a completely new bike after only three races. For testing on Monday, every part of the bike will be new, but they still brought new components in all the first races. As said, they have a very good response time, they just want to make sure everything is working properly first, as it should also be for safety reasons."

Also speeding up the development work even more will be Stefan Bradl, on track as a wild card.

"I don't really know what he will do yet, however, I know that he will do this wild card also to try in the race some things they are developing," explained Luca, who irrespective of the purely sporting aspects, is preparing for another big challenge like that of fatherhood: "I am ready to become a dad, we are very happy. I hear a lot of very tragic fathers, but in the end everyone says it's beautiful. Marta is very good with children, always has been, and she will help me a lot."


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