Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marque has concretely admitted for the first time that he would not be able to race for Repsol Honda in 2024, admitting minutes after the leap that he has an exit strategy. the first prototype of the Japanese factory's 2024 bike and believes it has "more or less the same problems" as the bike he and his Honda colleagues are currently struggling with.
On this front too, adding fuel to troubled waters hasn't helped much. . deposit. . He fuels the fire on social media and in television interviews by suggesting that he is looking elsewhere, but does not bother to admit that he has a plan, limiting himself to answering all direct questions, stressing that he has a contract with Honda. for 2024.
However, that changed moments after his first ride in Honda's new RC213V prototype, when he completed 35 laps in front of the assembled media at Misano in the After during the first two test sessions of the day, he now had two options to choose from.
He was later informed that he had told the presenter that DAZN, Izaskun Ruiz, in Misano, understood that he had already made his decision.
"I already told you, but maybe it's not clear," admitted Márquez. “Sometimes we can change, right? You do not know. I decide, I have two plans and now I have to choose one.
Of course there is a deadline. I will decide in India and Japan.
This explosive admission comes after what appeared to be a rather disappointing result with the new bike on the Italian circuit.
Just a new chassis and a new aerodynamic package, but still no new engine, Márquez admitted it was different but also retained many of the problems of grip at the rear of the Honda. I've struggled with this all season.
“Of course, it's a completely different driving style,” he explained, “but in the end, the problems are more or less less." the same. . We have to work harder.
"The seating position is different, the way you feel on the bike is different. It's a little strange at first, but lap after lap, as with any new bike, it becomes a little more natural. But in the end, the method for determining lap time is very similar to the current one.
“It continues to improve: a different way of driving, but it's true that the problems are the same. They still have to work because we are far away.
"If this is the base we are far away by bike. We have to work and change a lot of things.
We always expect more. But yes, we are still working, it's just the first impressions and there are a lot of new engineers in the garage. Now, with this information, you have to work and move forward.
And while you may not be sure what will happen next in the project or even in your future, it doesn't sound like you have completely lost faith in Honda, but it underlines that the new technical team recently added to the garage has not yet had an impact on what could affect it in the coming weeks. , especially since the championship goes to Honda's home race in Japan.
It is believed that one of Márquez's main requests was to involve new employees in the project to improve the way of change. in which Honda addressed its problems, and it is believed that its initial demand was for Honda to follow KTM's example and attempt to steal important technical equipment from other European factories in the series.
Although this objective does not necessarily appear to have been achieved, the influx of new Honda employees at Misano this weekend may be the only part of the new project that has so far reassured the Spaniard, and perhaps Honda will he gave it a little more.
"It's true that there are new engineers," said Márquez, "and it seems like they started with this new bike. Then, of course, they will start working, because I understand that these new engineers will not be working on this new bike, on this new project, for a long time. Let's see, they don't have, well, not much time yet because [the next iteration] is in two months in Valencia, but let's see if they can act."
I SEE IMPROVEMENTS, BUT I EXPECT A NEW ENGINE
Márquez hesitates to consider this new Honda prototype as progress, but in his speech he explicitly rejected the word currently in use "improvement". According to MotoGP.com, his teammate Mir seems at least a little more impressed.
"We've definitely improved in some areas," Mir said. “We haven't made a big step forward, we're far from that, but I felt a little better, especially with used tyres.”
Grip is something that went a little better for me, but we're still far from that. In the braking zone this bike brakes a little better, especially with used tyres, and it also goes a little better when cornering.
I said. He too he added "a small step overall" if the rest of the test goes as expected, though he clarified that "we need a little more help."
But the lack of a prototype engine was a little disappointing, with Mir admitting it meant "less time" to refine it ahead of the post-season test in Valencia and that it "would have been better" to at least have it available as an engine such a unique sample.