You are here

MotoGP, GPOne to one, Cecchinello: "Marquez in Honda had five tenths, he violates the bike"

VIDEO - Guests of the HONDA LCR team at Vallellunga, we talked about MotoGP with Lucio Cecchinello. Among the topics were development, the rider market and Marc Marquez. "Between Marquez and Martin? Even I would have had a hard time choosing."

MotoGP, GPOne to one, Cecchinello: "Marquez in Honda had five tenths, he violates the bike"
Iscriviti al nostro canale YouTube

On a Honda track day at Vallelunga in the company of the Honda LCR team, we had the opportunity to have a chat with team manager Lucio Cecchinello. Many topics were discussed, from today's motorcycle racing to yesterday's, the rider market and the latest news in MotoGP.

What gave rise to the idea of having Randy Mamola test the three-cylinder Honda RS500?
"We have a collector friend; I had tried it last year. It's a bike with an important history, so it would have been nice to give Randy this surprise a full 40 years later. I have to admit I got goosebumps when he took the cover off."

It has been a tough start to the season for Honda, which mostly is mostly at the bottom of the grid. The LCR team has two experienced riders like Zarco and Nakagami.
"We are working a lot, there has also been a nice reorganization program of both personnel and budget, but unfortunately we have not yet reaped the fruits of our efforts."

In the past Honda did not deliver much material to the satellite team, but now things seem to have changed with Zarco.
"The level in MotoGP has risen a lot, Ducati's policy with Pramac and four factory bikes has paid off and KTM has also adapted. Let's say that Honda as a result of the difficulties that have to be overcome decided a few years ago to start treating the two teams in the same way. Primarily to collect data and to develop the bike as quickly as possible."

Yamaha is courting Pramac, have they had contact with you as well? There has also been talk of you as the future head of HRC.
"It was a fanciful rumour, I already have a lot to do in the LCR team but as always I am open to collaborations and integrating the two structures to gain mutual benefits. It is true that other manufacturers have sought me out, but I have always been clear, I have a history with Honda and I give priority to them before dealing with others."

How much do you think is needed for Honda to regain competitiveness in the championship? Can we expect steps forward in the second half of the season?
"In my opinion yes, toward the end of the championship we will take a step forward. We have worked a lot, now it's a matter of putting it all together. They have invested a lot on aerodynamics and the whole package, I think we will see something as early as September."

Luca Marini has a two-year deal at Honda, as does Zarco on your team. Theoretically there are still two free places.
"In theory yes, but as far as the LCR team is concerned, in the Idemitsu program with which Nakagami Honda HRC races, HRC has 70 percent of the say, they will decide whether to continue with Nakagami who has great experience, which is what we need to develop the bike, or take another direction and use him elsewhere."

Did you expect Marquez's choice of the factory Ducati?
"Even I would have been hard pressed to choose, one young, the other more experienced and an eight-time world champion. I think Ducati also made a choice dictated by marketing orientation, and Marquez's popularity is an important asset for Ducati unlike Martin. I think Domenicali had a voice in that."

You have also been a successful rider. Compared to today's MotoGP, in the past successful riders in the minor categories had the same dignity as those in the premier class. Today there is little talk about Moto3 and Moto2.
"It's true. Personally I would have liked to do more, I didn't succeed but I'm content!" joked Cecchinello.

Ducati GP23 and GP24: do you think there is a difference in light of Marc's results?
"Marc has five tenths more as a rider, half a second is his. We've been analyzing his data for years at Honda, and the way he throws the bike into the corner entry is unique. He 'violates' the bike and gains speed on corner entry."

He still seems to have difficulty in braking.
"I think it's more a characteristic of the Ducati, we are studying a lot both them and Aprilia and the KTM from the footage. Those bikes have more static weight on the rear, whereas to make that movement you have to have more imbalance on the front at the expense of grip. Marc and Honda have always had grip problems because the development had followed the riding style on Marc's front end precisely to have that quickness of entry. It's clear that you can't have everything, you need a compromise, and we are also going in that direction trying to shift the static weight to the rear."

Is there a risk of Marc influencing development at Ducati?
"I don't think so, Ducati has a lot of data at their disposal and they have shown they can work well. I think eventually they will do something more specific for Marc, so maybe they will work differently for the other riders."


Related articles

Privacy Policy