Marquez: No Honda rider close to victory in MotoGP

Six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez admits "I don't see any Honda rider close to victory" right now, following the opening day of the French Grand Prix.

Listen to this article

Honda has had a tough start to the 2021 campaign, with none of its riders so far having made it to the podium in any of the opening four races.

HRC put most of its riders through a busy testing schedule at the post-race test following the Spanish GP, having recently admitted it is facing problems with its 2021 RC213V.

Friday at Le Mans proved to be a strong day for Honda riders, with Pol Espargaro fourth fastest, while Marquez was eighth and LCR's Takaaki Nakagami 10th – with poor Saturday weather set to lock the trio directly into Q2 in qualifying.

Despite the strong start, Marquez admits he thinks Honda is still far away from ending a victory drought dating back to the 2019 Valencia GP.

"Last year my brother Alex came close to winning in Aragon and in the race here [in France]," Marquez said.

"For Pol [Espargaro] Le Mans is a circuit he is good at, he will go fast; Nakagami was also fast at Jerez. But honestly I don't see any Honda rider close to victory.

"The first objective must be to make a podium and, above all, to put more riders inside the top five or eight. But I have full confidence and I'm sure that between now and the end of the year there will be some Honda victories."

Read Also:

Commenting on his own day, Marquez admitted he was "struggling" in the dry conditions of FP2 due to his recovering physical condition following his nine-month injury layoff.

"My day was a standard day for my comeback," he said.

"In wet conditions I feel not bad at all. It's true it's less demanding regarding physical condition and I'm feeling much better.

"On dry, I was struggling. I was riding and I stop in the box and I see P8 [on the timing screens], I said 'OK, better'.

"But I was starting to try a few things on the bike, also in the second run, and it was not that bike wasn't working. My feeling wasn't good and then I stopped, I thought it was a problem on the bike but it was my problem.

"So, I'm still not precise on the comments. But this is my job, I need to improve there.

"About the new tyres, I just ride, I take care on Turn 1 to Turn 3, I take care on change of direction because I was struggling a bit, and on the hard braking points like Turn 8 I was struggling a bit.

"But apart from that, we know where we are and even like this we were able to be not very far from the top guys."

shares
comments

Related video

Rossi buoyed by MotoGP test gains at Le Mans
Previous article

Rossi buoyed by MotoGP test gains at Le Mans

Next article

MotoGP French Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch

MotoGP French Grand Prix qualifying - Start time, how to watch
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future Prime

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022
The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize Prime

The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize

OPINION: Francesco Bagnaia has put one hand firmly on the 2022 MotoGP world title after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, and the permutations are weighted heavily in his favour heading to the Valencia finale. But as Ducati stands on the cusp of something it has longed for since 2007, the Sepang race also hinted towards a future problem…

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2022