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Honda "not in the best situation" with MotoGP bike – Marquez

Marc Marquez admits “Honda is not in the best situation” with its MotoGP bike as the problems he left following his injury last year seemingly remain.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

The six-time world champion will make his long-awaited return to racing this weekend in the Portuguese Grand Prix, following nine months on the sidelines with a broken right arm suffered in last July’s Spanish GP.

In his absence, Honda failed to win a race for the first time ever since it returned to the premier class full-time in 1982 – with his brother Alex Marquez scoring the marque’s only podiums, a brace of seconds in the French and Aragon GPs. 

Honda was able to make the RC213V slightly more rider-friendly across last season, but the key weak area of a critical front end remains into 2021.

“Obviously Honda is not in the best situation,” Marquez said on Thursday at Portimao. “I already talk with Japanese staff, they are working really hard to try to understand where is the problems, because in the end the main target is to try to find a bike compromise that all the riders can be fast or can have a good level.

“I mean, Honda now has good riders, like Pol Espargaro who did great results with KTM; [Takaaki] Nakagami, who already have many years on a MotoGP bike; my brother, who is world champion in Moto2.

“So, the riders are there. Still, they are struggling in the same points when I left the bike, which are trying to understand the confidence on the front tyre, try to crash less, to find the limit. All these things, they are working on it. It’s true from last year to this year the bike’s are pretty similar, so no big change.

“But anyway, there’s some updates that already this morning I had a long meeting in the box to try all these new updates. I will start straight away with [HRC test rider Stefan] Bradl’s bike, I will not start with my bike. From that, I will start to build my bike, my compromise to come back on the top level.”

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Marquez has already stated he has set no targets for this weekend and admits it’s not possible to understand just how competitive MotoGP is now since he’s been gone having only been able to watch the races.

“Understanding the situation from the TV is impossible,” he added. “It’s impossible and really strange to understand how MotoGP is now, because you see many ups and downs – and not just from one circuit to the other one.

“From one day to the next you see one rider who is clearly in the best pace, but then on the Sunday struggles a lot. It’s strange to understand, but apart from that it’s true I’m looking forward to ride because to have many riders in front and have a big group like Qatar race two is nice to ride because you have a nice fight.

“Of course, I’m not ready for that fight right now but in the future I hope to be in that group.”

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