MotoGP

Marquez “not disappointed” in Honda’s 2022 MotoGP bike

After a few tough years, Honda elected to radically re-design its bike for 2022 in a bid to cure the rear grip problems it had suffered before and make it more useable – something borne out of Marquez’s serious arm injury in 2020.  

But the shift in character of the bike to make it more rear-biased has caused difficulties for Marquez in being able to adapt his riding style to the RC213V, with his best result in 2022 so far a fifth in the opening round in Qatar. 

Salvaging fifth on the grid for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Marquez was asked if he was disappointed in the direction of the bike given how hard he had to push for that result.  

“I’m not disappointed, because it’s true that it was a big change,” he replied. “I heard some comments, but I agreed with that change. But it’s true that with the other bike everything was more natural.  

“It was a bike that I rode since 2013, small evolutions, but the character was the same.  

“Now there’s a big change and even Honda is trying to understand many things.  

“Pol [Espargaro] for example is riding in a different way. He’s fast, even if he starts 13th, he’s riding maybe better than me this new bike because I think he rides a bit similar to what he had in KTM.  

“So, it’s something with riding style that I need to improve.” 

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez was left in 19th at the end of Friday’s running, but says this was down to trying a big set-up change that didn’t work.  

He reverted to a setting to allow him to ride the bike “in the way it wants to be ridden”, but continues to struggle under braking and with turning on the front.  

“It’s true that with this new bike it’s a big difference,” he added. “You need to ride in a different way. Yesterday I said already we needed to work to try to adapt the bike in a radical way to my riding style, but with this bike I cannot ride like this.  

“So, today we came back to the way the bike wants to be ridden and it’s what I did today.  

“I just went back to what we had, more or less the same base as the other Hondas.  

“But it’s true that in my case I’m still struggling a lot with the front, the turning is slow.  

“It’s there where we need to understand because as soon as I try to push a bit more, then it’s easy to crash.” 

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Looking ahead to the race, Marquez says despite his strong qualifying result he is not fighting for the podium and feels “fifth, sixth, seventh” is his realistic target.  

“You can get frustrated if the expectation is too high,” he said. “My expectation today was to finish on third row and I was second row. So, I’m happy.  

“Yesterday I was 19th and in Portimao I was 16 seconds behind the leader, so the target needs to be optimistic always, but at the same time try to achieve what you can.  

“And tomorrow what we can achieve fifth, sixth, seventh in a good race.  

“Of course, I would like today I’m ready to win, to fight for the podium but now we are not ready. The past was the past, now is now. In the past everything was easier, now everything is more difficult.” 


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