MotoGP legend Mick Doohan believes that Honda newboy Jorge Lorenzo has no excuses left for not winning another title as he will have the same equipment as current team-mate and reigning champion Marc Marquez.
Doohan, who dominated the series for Repsol Honda in the 1990s, thinks having both riders in one camp can only be good for Honda as it will strengthen the bike.
“Jorge has no more excuses, he’s got the same as Marc. But the only thing is that Marc has history with Honda, knows how to work with them all but Lorenzo is a strong rider, a fast rider and an intelligent rider," said Doohan.
"So I think adapting to the way Honda work will be relatively easy. But there’s no more ‘I wish I had…’ or 'if only', it’s the same platform and it’s how you set the bikes up.
“If Marc loses to Lorenzo it’s only a win-win because it will only push them two to develop themselves better, with the bike, but for me personally I think Lorenzo is in the position where he needs to work. He’s been racing against Marc now for a few seasons, five or six, so he knows how strong Marc is mentally and his capability on the motorcycle, so he knows how hard he needs to work to compete with him on the same machine.”
“I think Marc can only get better. He’s 25 years old, so I think if you look at Valentino, not that he’ll talk about him, but he’s close to 40 and still learning so Marc will continue learning. Marc has had a strong teammate in Pedrosa but now he has a multiple MotoGP Champion in Lorenzo pushing him.
“If Lorenzo is in front of him, it’s no different to Pedrosa being in front of him or another bike. At the end of the day, you have to perform day in day out. I think where the strength will come from is that there are two different styles and both guys are very mentally strong.
"I think they should be able to build the Honda to a much stronger position, having two guys with that talent on the bikes. It will just help to evolve the Honda to another level. People complaining about the Honda, it will only get worse because the Honda will just get stronger.”