Here's Why Honda Won't be Back At the Top Soon According to Test-Rider Stefan Bradl
Test rider Stefan Bradl lays the foundations for a successful 2023 MotoGP season for Honda in Jerez. Ken Kawauchi is on-site as well.
With the 2022 season over, Honda would like to end its weak phase in MotoGP once and for all. However, despite extensive development work, the results do not seem to convince test rider Stefan Bradl yet.
The German admitted to SPEEDWEEK.com that it would “still take some time until we [Honda] get back on track.”
The improvements so far please neither the 33-year-old Bavarian nor Honda top rider Marc Marquez.
The latter stated after the post-season test in Valencia: “We can’t fight for the championship with this bike.”
Bradl gives concerned: “It is undisputed that we have to improve. It’s a complex problem that we have.”
But even worse, he says, is that Honda is still not aware of the origin of its own problems. “It’s also not clear whether it’s the chassis, the engine, the electronics or the aerodynamics.”
With the increasingly extreme developments in MotoGP, the times when half a second can be found during the winter break are over. A quick return of Honda to the top of the premier class is unlikely.
“I can say that no miracle will happen and we will suddenly achieve lap records and take victories.”
“The process of getting back on track will take time. This is now the start of our race to catch up.”
The problem is that the Honda is not able to use the available Michelin tyre 100%, neither on a fast lap nor in other situations.
“For the time being, we are too far away over a single lap and also over the race distance,” Bradl confirms. “We need to find improvements on the bike in all areas.”
The new Honda Technical Director Ken Kawauchi is supposed to help with this. The Japanese was hired by Honda for the new season after Suzuki’s departure.
Bradl sees an immediate change in the way of working and is looking forward to the new cooperation.
“You can tell that something is moving at HRC. With [Ken] Kawauchi, a fresh wind is blowing and the structures in Japan have also changed somewhat. Maybe new ideas will come from new staff. Something is happening.”
The 2011 Moto2 World Champion explains: “It fits, I feel comfortable, it’s fun. And now we’ll see how we approach the next steps.”