HONDA SHOWS SIGNS OF RECOVERY AT LAST
One of the great mysteries of the 2016 pre-season was just what level Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda would be at in Qatar. But after finishing in a strong third place, it looks like we’re starting to get a clearer picture that Marquez will be a serious contender for title glory once again.
Marquez was not only able to run with the leading pack in the race, something that appeared unlikely after his troubled testing performances, but was also able to challenge second place man Andrea Dovizioso right to the flag.
“Two weeks ago it was a complete disaster, and we’ve made a huge improvement in the last few days. If you’d told me in the press conference on Wednesday that we’d finish on the podium, I would have cried.
“OK, the perfect race was sec- ond place for us, but we couldn’t do it, Ducati were really strong on the acceleration, and it’s hard to manage that. We’re happy with the result though, and we need to keep working because the next few circuits will be easier for us.”
History has shown that Argentina and Circuit Of The Americas are indeed tracks that should help to negate some of the areas in which the Honda is still struggling, and give Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa a better chance of glory.
In Qatar, both Marquez and Pedrosa were hampered by the slow second gear corner that proceeds the 0.6-mile front straight, meaning they were no match for the blisteringly fast Ducatis.
With the 2016 specification engines now sealed for the season, MCN understands that HRC has found gains with experimental exhaust components in a bid to claw back time to their rivals.
Marquez added: “We know that here I was losing a lot – we worked out I was losing four tenths to Ducati on the acceleration. But Honda have given me 100% this weekend, they’re working really hard, and everyone did the maximum.”
‘If you’d told me we’d finish on the podium I would