MotoGP

Marc Marquez won’t relent on making Honda easier to ride if it's fast

Marc Marquez won't allow Honda to make the RC213V 'easier to ride' for his stablemates if it compromises his own speed on the MotoGP machine

Marc Marquez has sounded an ominous signal to his own team-mates by asserting he doesn’t want a Honda that is any ‘easier to ride’ so long as it is still quick.

Though Honda wrapped up all three titles in 2019 – riders’, teams’ and manufacturers’ crowns – they were all achieved largely on the strength of Marc Marquez with his 12 wins and 18 podiums, with no other Honda rider cracking the top eight and only adding three podiums to that tally

The differential in performance can be largely attributed to the relatively narrow operating window of the 2019-spec Honda RC213V developed around the unique riding style of its lead rider Marquez.

However, while Marquez flourished on the tailored chassis – despite himself admitting it is tricky to ride - his Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and LCR’s Cal Crutchlow complained it was too inconsistent and difficult to get comfortable on.

Raising questions over whether Honda should hedge its bets on the entire line-up by developing a more compliant chassis, Marquez says this wouldn’t be his preferred tactic and says he’d rather have a bike with performance than ease-of-use.

“If you have an easier bike, it will help all the Honda riders, but my target is to have the fastest bike," Marquez told Crash.net.

"It doesn't matter if it's difficult or not, what I want is to try to win. It doesn't matter if I need to push more or less on the riding. But of course we are trying to work on the chassis area, to try to be easier on competitive lap times."

Marc Marquez not here to ‘help’ Honda riders…

Marquez’s words, while not necessarily unexpected, won’t sit well with the likes of Crutchlow, whose competitiveness in 2019 fluctuated as he sought the RC213V’s sweet spot every weekend.

The comments may also go some way to explaining why Alex Marquez will be joining his brother in the Repsol Honda team next year. With a less compliant – ie. non-family - team-mate struggling to get comfortable on a bike developed around its title-winner, Honda faced another season of seeing one rider flourish as another floundered.

While Marc won’t want to relinquish his grip on developing the Honda in his image, one can assume he will reveal the secrets of making it quick to Alex, even if it inevitably remains to be seen whether he is good enough to capitalise.

Of course, this runs an inevitable risk if Marquez doesn’t bounce back from a crash like he did in Thailand and Malaysia, leaving Honda vulnerable if – without its star rider – it is left with three riders who can’t come close to matching that kind of pace.

Moreover, his comment of not wanting to ‘help’ his Honda team-mates makes it appear Marc is bigger than the team… not that that is unusual in the occasionally ‘selfish’ world of motorcycle racing.

Alternatively, does Marquez have a point? Should it be up to the riders to bring themselves up to a standard on a bike that is clearly very, very quick with the right approach…? And does it matter if one rider can almost single-handedly win a triple crown for you…

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