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“It’s really bad…” - Repsol Honda left languishing in last, ‘pushing’ Japan for upgrades


Repsol Honda boss Alberto Puig says he is pushing Honda in Japan for developments heading into the MotoGP summer break as the once dominant team counts the cost of what threatens to be its worst-ever season.

The most successful manufacturer to have competed in 500GP/MotoGP with 21 riders’ titles to its name, Honda’s form has declined sharply since Marc Marquez wrapped up his sixth title in seven seasons in 2019.

Since then, a catalogue of factors - most notably Marquez’s persistent injury woes and the failure of a radical redesign ahead of the 2022 season - have conspired to leave Honda playing catch-up versus its factory rivals.


For the official Repsol Honda squad, however, the acuteness of its woes are represented by it currently languishing a distant last in the MotoGP Teams’ reckoning with just 20 points scored from 16 races (eight Sprint, eight full-length).

It’s a situation not lost on Puig, who says he’s pushing Honda in Japan to assess the ‘reality of the situation’ and work on bringing improvements.

"We are pushing Honda to bring developments as soon as possible,” he told MotoGP.com.

“I’m not in Japan, I am in Europe and I see what’s happening every weekend here. I know the Japanese staff here in Europe, they can see the problem.

“What they think or see in Japan, I cannot tell you, because I don’t know what they are thinking, but my understanding is that the staff we have here are informing the factory about the current situation and that is what they have to do.

“They have to give them the reality of the situation, but when you look at the results, it doesn’t matter where you are, the results are not good for a company like Honda and they understand this.”

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"We need a friendlier bike..."

Slumping to sixth and last in the manufacturers’ standings last season, though Alex Rins’ win for the satellite LCR team in the Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA raised hopes of a more competitive campaign, Honda’s campaign has been blighted by injury issues ever since.


Indeed, with Marquez missing three rounds after breaking his finger at the start of the year and Joan Mir out of action intermittently with a hand injury, Repsol Honda hasn’t had either of its full-time riders start three full-length grands prix this year. 

Coupled with Rins’ Italian MotoGP leg break, Honda’s only signed representative in the last two races has been Takaaki Nakagami.

While Honda WorldSBK rider Iker Lecuona filled in for Mir for the second time this season at Assen, Puig admits the rotating of rider absences in Repsol Honda doesn’t reflect well on the team..

"This is not good at all, it is clearly bad. We would like to have both riders but we don't have an official rider, so from a Honda point of view it's not good, it's really bad. 


"We didn't find the way, it's clear, but we are trying. We need to speak about the situation and recover a lot of ground, but also bring to the riders a bike that is, let’s say, friendlier and has more performance. 

“This is what we are trying to do and what they are trying to do in Japan.”

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