"A Standard Day" - Marc Marquez Finds Himself Caught In A 2022 Loop
Once again, none of the Hondas manage to qualify for Q2. Marc Marquez finds himself caught in a 2022 loop in Portimao.
At first, Practice Friday didn’t look so bad for the Honda guys. Joan Mir even managed to set the second fastest lap of the session in a rain-disturbed Practice 1.
After the time attack in Practice 2, however, disappointment followed. Although they don’t seem to have taken a step in the wrong direction yet again, Honda does not seem to have moved forward either.
In the combined times, neither the Respol factory team riders nor the LCR satellite team made it into Q2.
Marc Marquez even crashed in the last minutes trying to set a good lap in the slipstream of Fabio Quartararo.
After the first day of the season, the Spaniard reveals the renewed weaknesses of the Honda. A fast time in the slipstream of another rider seems to be “the only possibility”.
“I missed the target to get directly into Q2 today. But it’s not a surprise, because we are in the same position we were in the preseason.”
“Today all the opponents went very fast, the lap times were very strong. Everyone is riding on the limit; that makes our task very difficult.”
“But it’s the same for everyone. And since we haven’t qualified for Q2 so far, we’ll have another intense day tomorrow.”
Asked about the fact that some parts of the paddock expected a significantly worse performance, Marquez countered:
“A super good day would look different. This was a standard day.”
Although not everything was bad – after all, the pace of the medium tires in the first practice session “surprised” him – the Spaniard still cannot see any improvement compared to 2022.
He knows the reason behind Honda’s blockage: “Basically I ride the same chassis at Valencia, only in the chassis there are small differences. But the character of the bike hasn’t changed, it’s exactly the same as last year.”
Marquez takes the same approach to fast laps as in recent years. “I went after Quartararo. Rins got behind Bezzecchi. That’s not the best way to ride. But we have to improve somehow. Following strong opponents is our only chance at the moment.”