Repsol Honda has had three consecutive seasons in MotoGP in which successes have been far away after a period of intense dominance between 2013 and 2019 – a period in which Marc Marquez only missed out on the title in 2015. Now Honda is behind its rivals, particularly those based in Europe, and is looking to reinvent itself to react to this disadvantage.
In an interview with El Periódico, Alberto Puig bluntly assumed that the opposition did a better job: ‘Quite simply, our rivals, especially Ducati and the other two European factories, Aprilia and KTM, have done a better job than us. They have been able to find the tricks, the secrets, the shortcuts to take advantage of the technical regulations and achieve a more competitive bike than ours.’
The Team Manager not only praised his rivals, but also stressed that it is up to Honda to work to catch up with them: ‘When opponents get it right, you just have to take your hat off to them, congratulate them, grit your teeth, work hard and try to improve all the time.’
Although he refuses to use the enforced absence of Marc Marquez, Puig considers it to be another factor: ‘And another fact, although it is not an excuse: we have had our leading rider, our champion, Marc Marquez, the man who knows our bike best, injured for two years, unable to provide vital information to our engineers to design, create and evolve the bike.’