Marc Marquez summed up the downbeat mood in the Honda camp following the 2023 Italian MotoGP after seeing his hopes of a podium result at Mugello scuppered by yet another crash.
On a particularly bruising weekend for HRC’s two MotoGP teams, a fall for Joan Mir on Friday - his 12th of the season already - ruled him out of the weekend, before Alex Rins’ crash from the Sprint Race left him with a broken leg and the prognosis of a lengthy spell out of action.
Despite this, Marquez was well placed to raise a smile for the main GP feature after qualifying on the front row, with the Spaniard proceeding to dice it out for the bottom step of the podium early on.
However, his hopes of a rostrum result - and indeed his first finish in a full-length race this year - came to an abrupt conclusion on lap six when a wide moment at the last corner while pushing on led to him sliding into the gravel trap.
It left Marquez visibly bewildered at the time of the accident, while his tone - which spoke of his belief in Honda before the weekend - shifted to one of urgency towards the team to address the issues quickly.
“I was riding in a good way, I felt quite comfortable, pushing but I was not stressed. Martin and Bagnaia were faster but I tried to stay in the group, but we are struggling as we know, already on the first lap I made a mistake, a strange moment I had a big lock in Turn 10, then again at the last corner I had a big lock on the brakes and I ran wide. I tried to manage but I lost the front.
“We need to improve the bike, we need to work. All of the Honda riders struggle, we are taking too many risks. If you have winning riders, you need a winners’ bike because our mentality is to be at the front. Friday was Mir, yesterday was Rins… I hoped to do a good recovery for them, but today it was me. I was lucky I didn’t get injured but we’re taking too many risks to be up there.”
It marks the latest chapter in a desperate run of fortune for Honda stretching back to the start of the 2020 MotoGP season.
Indeed, while the RC213V has shown encouraging flashes of performance this year - most notably Rins’ surprise win in the United States - it continues to be negated by costly and debilitating crashes.
“When I crashed, I realised where I crashed, the mistake came before the crash. Sometimes it is difficult to understand why you crash, but maybe it is because you are riding over the limit of the bike. This is something we need to improve for the future.”