Puig: Marquez crash part of racing, Lorenzo issue unclear

Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig digests a tough end to the Americas MotoGP as he gives an update on Jorge Lorenzo’s mechanical DNF
Puig: Marquez crash part of racing, Lorenzo issue unclear

Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig has digested a tough end to the Americas MotoGP having seen both Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo fail to finish due to a fall and a mechanical issue respectively.

Honda failed to take victory in the premier class on American soil for the first time in almost nine years – when Lorenzo won for Yamaha at Laguna Seca in 2010 – in a disastrous race for the reigning MotoGP world champions which had looked promising thanks to Marquez’s dominant form and pace.

But when Marquez tucked the front of his RC213V at the end of the back straight on Lap 9 while comfortably leading, having seen LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow suffer the same fate at Turn 11 four laps earlier, Honda’s domination looked over with Lorenzo struggling for pace.

Lorenzo’s own race was ended prematurely on Lap 11 with an unidentified mechanical issue, which Honda is still investigating, leading Repsol Honda to suffer its first double DNF since Phillip Island last year.

Despite the frustrations, Puig sees positives thanks to Marquez’s dominant pace at both the Argentina and Americas rounds as he put down the defending champion’s fall as a racing mistake having aimed to pull out an unsurmountable lead over the chasing pack.

“Marc was two steps ahead when he was on track, this is what gives us the will to continue working with full motivation and high hopes,” Puig said.

“The strategy for Marc was start and go, it was what was happening, but unfortunately Marc lost the front. But the strategy was the same as in Argentina, but these things happen – this is racing.

“The positive points are that Marc isn’t injured. Marc is stronger than ever and he showed it in the last two races. And the negatives are obviously that we have zero points in Austin.”

Puig also confirmed Honda is running an extensive investigation into the cause of Lorenzo’s mechanical breakdown, with the five-time world champion stating it wasn’t an issue with the chain jumping off the sprocket, a problem which has struck twice in two races.

“At this moment we don’t know what happened with Lorenzo’s bike, we are investigating and we need some time to understand what the problem was,” Puig said.

“Jorge’s target was the top 10, but in the first two laps he was not super-fast. But once he stabilised he kept his rhythm well and was moving ahead in the classifications, but then he had the problem that we still don’t know about fully.”

Marquez has slipped to fourth in the early riders’ standings following his Americas MotoGP DNF, nine points behind leader Andrea Dovizioso, while Lorenzo slid down to 17th in the standings as his torrid run of results continue.

Lorenzo last achieved a top 10 finish when he won the Austrian round last August before a series of crashes, injuries and mechanical problems has curtailed the end of his time at Ducati and his adaptation to Honda at the start of 2019.