05/04/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2021 04:55
For the first time, the Repsol Honda Team Manager has openly admitted that the Japanese factory are up against it in 2021
Repsol Honda Team's Alberto Puig, usually unyielding in his views, has admitted for the first time that HRC are 'facing some issues'. His comments come after Pol Espargaro branded the weekend 'a mess', believing the three different packages running in Jerez were doing more harm than good, and Marc Marquez likewise admitting they were 'struggling a lot'.
Puig says 'new parts' are coming and that was certainly the case at the Official Test with the Japanese factory unveiling five different aerodynamic packages, three different chassis and a whole host of other new items as they look to overcome their current predicament.
'The negative point is that we, as Honda HRC, understand that we are facing some issues with the bike' began the Repsol Honda boss. 'But we have been able to already recognize them. We are trying our best, we are bringing new parts soon and we are willing, and already working very hard, to give our best to the riders for the next races.'
Puig, who was absent from Jerez with health issues, did, however, praise Honda's leading light in Jerez: Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). The Japanese rider matched his career-best MotoGP™ result of fourth, making the absolute most of the 2020 chassis at his disposal.
Nakagami matches best MotoGP™ result but podium wait goes on 02/05/2021
Let the LCR Honda man explain why he had mixed emotions after the Spanish Grand Prix
'Certainly, the race from Nakagami was one of the very positive points of Sunday in Jerez,' admitted Puig. 'He overcame his physical issues that he sustained in his fall in Portimao, and he showed that he is mentally very strong. Taka was not in a perfect condition, but he did a good race and was only 0.7s away from his first podium in the premier class.
'Another positive was that Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro were alright after they both had very big crashes. Marc, despite two very fast falls, was able to finish the race ten seconds behind the leader which, importantly, was three seconds closer to the winner than in Portugal.'