New Honda Drama - Marc Marquez's Team Discards 2023 Prototype

Categories:   MotoGP

Despite a new concept, Honda continues to lag behind in MotoGP. A radical 2023 prototype has already been scrapped again.

After the disappointment of last season, Honda is working flat out during the winter break to be ready for the new season. 

However, the radical MotoGP prototype the Japanese brought to the IRTA test in Sepang disappointed. 

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While the Honda garage with no less than four different bikes in the Marquez pit alone was impressive at first, not much of substance remained at the end of the test. 

In addition to a 2022 bike and two further developments of it, the paddock was surprised with a radical new concept that differed from its predecessor in almost every area.

After the winter break left the Japanese more and more in despair, hopes arose that the radical change could breathe new life into the project.

Since the last day of testing in Sepang, it is now clear that the idea was a failure.

Although Honda superstar Marc Marquez rode his best lap time on Sunday on the Evolution bikes, based on the 2022 model, he was still almost eight tenths of a second off the leader Luca Marini. 

For Marquez, the test might be another disappointment after three years of suffering. On Saturday, the Spaniard had still insisted on his confidence in Honda, but on the final day of the test, it sounds different. 

“We are not as far away from the top as we were on the first two days, but it is still too much,” he notes. He said he particularly didn’t like the 2023 concept at all.

“This one bike was very different from the rest and I didn’t have a good feeling with it,” the eight-time world champion explains. “I focus on the bikes I feel comfortable with.”

New year, same problems

Marquez seems miffed by Honda’s approach. The Spaniard feels that as the most experienced Honda rider, he should not be testing the “experimental things”.

“This is not the right way. I don’t know why, but they wanted to understand the concept. They wanted to know; they will have their reasons.”

The 59-time race winner is bothered by having to keep trying new experimental parts and wishes he could take a different path.

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For the next IRTA test before the first race weekend in Portimao, the Spaniard suggests: 

“I think we don’t have time to have three different bikes in the pits again. I suggested choosing a direction with a specific bike concept.”

This means that Honda again faces the same problems as last season, the concept chosen by Marquez is equal to last year’s.

It’s the same concept as the Valencia bike in November. There is not much difference. And we have the same problems with it as before. Now is the time for these problems to be solved.”

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