Rollercoaster Ride In India: Marquez Reveals Honda Strengths
After a dismal 2023 season, India shows that the Honda does have a strength or two. Marc Marquez explains them.
Following his third-place finish in the Indian sprint race, Marc Marquez harbored hopes of securing a spot on the podium in Sunday’s main race.
However, an early crash during the fifth lap disrupted the Honda pilot’s plans, relegating him from fourth place in the rankings. Undeterred, Marquez battled on from 16th place and eventually fought his way back up to ninth, effectively highlighting his impressive race pace.
Reflecting on the race, Marquez offered his analysis, stating, “Today, three riders were quicker than us on the track: Bagnaia, Martin, and Pecco.”
Overall, Honda showcased a notably enhanced level of competitiveness in India compared to recent races. Notably, on Sunday, Joan Mir achieved his strongest result of the season, finishing in fifth place. Marquez attributed this improvement to the distinctive characteristics of the circuit.
“The track is similar to the one in Austin,” Marquez remarked, highlighting his past successes on the American circuit. This year, it was his teammate Alex Rins from the LCR team who secured victory there.
He elaborated further, explaining, “There are many stop-and-go corners. You don’t need to accelerate with a steep lean angle. That is our weakness – corners like those in Montmelo.”
“We have more issues there. But on tracks with a stop-and-go character, where you straighten the bike early, our bike works very well.”
When questioned about his feelings regarding the Honda, Marquez admitted, “I still don’t feel completely comfortable while riding. I am fast and know how to ride the bike.”
“But I am not in my comfort zone; I am not riding with my natural instinct. That doesn’t necessarily mean I perform better when I feel more comfortable on the bike. But right now, I am not riding with a natural style, which means I need to concentrate more.”
Despite the scorching heat in India, Marquez encountered no physical challenges. He stated, “Physically, I had no problems.
Even if the race had lasted four laps longer, it would have been okay for me,” highlighting his resilience as an eight-time world champion. He concluded, “But I noticed that some riders suffered more than usual.”