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Commentary: Honda Has Lost Its Way In MotoGP – Can It Find A New Path?

Repsol Honda has had great success in GP racing, and even champions who have dominated the premier class (such as Mick Doohan and, more recently, Marc Marquez). It is hard to stay humble with that kind of history and, sure enough, the team makes little effort to hide its arrogance.

Marc Marquez “warned” Pol Espargaro as he was joining Repsol Honda that team members “must fight for the championship.” It is expected, because, after all, we are Honda. Alberto Puig, the current team manager, displays a similar level of cockiness when he describes what is “expected” of Honda riders.

Regardless of its history, and current bravado, Repsol Honda under Puig’s guidance now finds itself in deep trouble. I’m not talking about the fact that its star rider recently underwent a fourth surgery on his right arm after suffering an injury that has been needlessly prolonged by a separate act of arrogance (when Puig allowed Marquez to return to racing far too quickly after the initial injury and surgical repair).

The central problem is not the continuing struggles of Marquez, but the lack of a reasoned approach at Honda to move forward and regain the consistent success it has been known for in Premier class road racing. The other three riders currently aboard the latest Honda MotoGP prototype are Taka Nakagami, Pol Espargaro and Alex Marquez. These are very talented riders, yet they currently rank 16th, 17th and 18th in the points standings, and clearly are unable to find a proper set-up for their bikes on most weekends. It is expected that all three of these riders will leave Honda at the end of the year as it “cleans house” and waits, yet again, for the recovery of Marc Marquez (older brother of Alex). Is this a rational approach?

Puig, and Honda, seem content to place all of their eggs in the Marc Marquez basket. Indeed, it is their hope that Marquez will recover enough to do some testing later this year to improve a bike that is inconsistent at best, and a DNF monster (principally, due to crashing) at worst. Honda seems to forget, or chooses to ignore, the fact that Marc Marquez is always one crash away from further injury and several missed races. Two of his most significant “pre-existing conditions” relate to that right arm, and a vulnerability to double-vision episodes that result from crashes involving head trauma. There is no question that Marc Marquez is one of the all-time greats in the sport, but Repsol Honda is known for having two strong riders, both of which (as Marc warned Pol) are expected to battle for the championship.

Joan Mir is a young rider (24 years old) who has achieved considerable success, including the 2020 MotoGP World championship, and the 2017 Moto3 World championship. He finds himself without a job next year thanks to Suzuki’s abrupt departure from MotoGP. Despite his success, Mir finds himself without much negotiating leverage for a new ride in MotoGP. There is an abundance of talent in MotoGP at the moment … perhaps more talent than at any other point in Premier class racing history. Enormous, proven talents include Fabio Quartararo and Pecco Bagnaia, but the rookie class and the sophomore class in MotoGP is also stacked. Mir hasn’t had a particularly successful 2022 campaign, as he currently ranks 8th in MotoGP points – unable to find the podium in any of the first 11 rounds. With most of the other seats available in MotoGP for 2023 already taken, Mir’s manager admits that his choices include signing with Repsol Honda, as a teammate to Marquez, or taking a sabbatical and sitting at home.

Mir is apparently demanding a “champion’s salary” from Honda despite the mediocre year he is having. Time will tell if Honda and Mir can come to terms, but can it be expected that Mir will do any better next year aboard a Honda? His mediocre results this year come aboard a superior Suzuki.

Mir’s Suzuki teammate Alex Rins has already signed to ride a factory Honda next year on the satellite LCR team. In a recent podcast, Rins described the challenge of being competitive on the Honda, noting the struggles of Jorge Lorenzo, and, more recently, Pol Espargaro to find success on the same bike ridden by Marc Marquez.

Which brings us back to Marc Marquez and Honda’s hope that he will be able to test later this year and help improve what is perhaps the worst bike on the grid for the moment. Let’s hope he can, because, after all, Honda riders are “expected” to fight for the championship.

59 Comments

  1. joe b says:

    When Lorenzo first came to Honda, I thought the bike would be like an old shoe to him, and it wasnt. I realized then, MM93 was special. When Honda lost Marquez, lets hope for his speedy return, Honda lost a big part of the equation. When Suzuki won, it showed there were competitive machines all across the board, and now its KTM and Aprilia too that are competitive every week. And what about Ducati, 8 young riders none of them seem to be able to put it together? There should be another post, “has Ducati lost its way”. This is Ducati’s season to loose. MotoGP is very competitive these days. Has Honda lost its way, I dont think so, in the past they have always seemed to make all the right decisions, at the right time, during racing. Winning in MotoGP is not a cake walk, these days. Look at Rossi, on one of the best bikes, and it was obvious, it really was time for him to leave. The racing is great this year. Without Honda having a competitive rider, the championship is up for grabs.

    • Mick says:

      Ducati has 8 young riders, 5 of them are higher in the standings than Marquez. 7 of them are ahead of the next Honda rider. Most people seem to feel that Ducati has about the best overall bike. Does Ducati have an experienced and consistent rider? Apparently not. If they have lost their way it is because they didn’t hire one. It is not because they can’t seem to field a competitive bikes. Their bikes are clearly in the hunt. Honda made a new bike, Marquez crashed on it more often and the rest of the Honda riders are getting worse results on it. Maybe Honda hasn’t made the greatest hiring decisions either. But it’s pretty easy at this point to say that that Honda doesn’t seem to have a competitive bike. I would wager that the Honda riders would probably rather be riding the old bike. Nakagami looked like he was starting to put it together on the old bike. Where is he now on the current bike?

      I would expect a head or two to roll at Honda and to see another new bike soon. Ducati just needs a more consistent rider and maybe a tweak or two on their bike. As racing programs go, the Ducati program is a success. People think they have the best bike. They don’t really need to win the championship. You can’t say that about Honda. They are back were KTM used to be. People are wondering what the deal is.

  2. Curt says:

    I’m not sure whether HRC have lost their way or not. But it sure seems like all the other riders are lost on Marc’s bike, and I’m not even sure Marc recognizes it anymore.

  3. Gary says:

    Their difficulties in motorsports are a byproduct of their challenges in marketing new products that appeal to a shrinking buying public. The whole point of racing on Sunday is to sell products on Monday, and Honda seems to be developing products (Africa Twin, VFR 1200) that cleanly miss the mark. Then there are supply chain issues which, in the case of Yamaha, has resulted in strong demand for products (MT09, XSR 900) that are absent from the showroom. Being pinched for revenue will impact the racing effort. Sad but true.

    • 5229 says:

      Are you serious? Africa Twin missing the mark? Have you ridden one? In particular the latest version, the CRF1100.

    • TP says:

      The Africa Twin is very popular. It’s the one Honda I see more than anything else, even the new GoldWing, which is one fine motorcycle. Don’t cry for Big Red though. I’m sure they’ll figure out what they need to do to stay on top in MotoGP. I believe mighty Honda is actually motivated more by engineering pride and honoring the memory of founder Soichiro Honda than in mundane concerns about marketing.

    • joe b says:

      Honda’s VFR1200 wasnt a sales success, mostly because so many thought it was going to be released as a V5, MotoGP like sport bike. I have a VFR1200DCT, and its more like my old VF1100S Sabre. Its big and heavy, compared to what everyone expected, a better CBR1000RR, or real competition to the Suzuki GSXR1000. Its really a great bike. Problem is, just about everything these days, is a “Great Bike”. I like mine. Just what bells and whistles do you want on it? So if your “mark”, that it was supposed to be a MotoGP like hyper super lightweight sport bike, maybe YOU might think it missed the mark. This might have been based on on the spy pre released drawings of what everyone “wanted” it to be. As a sport touring bike, its just fine. It would be like asking why saddlebags are not standard on the CBR1000RR? its not the bike that is made wrong, its your perception of what you think it should have been, thats wrong, you see. And the Africa Twin, is a bulls-eye, for those that want that kind of bike. Maybe its you who are looking at the wrong bike, not that the bike is made wrong?

  4. Roy B says:

    HRC has long relied on a singular rider’s skill to lift them up beyond the engineering of others. I’ve been a “Honda or walk” owner since the early 70’s and I’ve been mostly underwhelmed with their racing efforts of late. You build racing legacies by providing skilled youngsters with outstanding platforms to grown on. Much like the first Elsinore racers leap frogging the rest of the field. Ducati using a V4 to poop on Honda super-bikes is one of many embarrassments heaped on HRC. Perhaps the leadership should be changed back to a more Japanese “BONSAI” mindset. What they have now is clearly not working. BTW, my current garage consists of a 1981 CR125R, 2008 Ridgeline (with 312k miles), 2015 XR650L (30 years on the market relatively unchanged) and a 2019 Passport. Past stuff included 2 CRVs, 3 Interceptors (2nd, 5th and 6th gens), 1975 CR125, XL250S, CB450 and a CX500. Summing up, Honda must do better to save face!

    • Les Chamness says:

      “BTW, my current garage consists of a 1981 CR125R, 2008 Ridgeline (with 312k miles), 2015 XR650L (30 years on the market relatively unchanged) and a 2019 Passport. ”

      3 Hondas and an Isuzu. Nice!

  5. Relic says:

    The bikes are too fast and must have electronics to be ridden safely. This raises the normal rider/mechanic relationship to a committee level comparable to a United Nations conference.
    MotoGP is too close to superbike.
    The bikes have nothing to do with mainstream bikes that the average rider buys. 4 cylinder bikes were the standard at one time, but parallel twins are now the only cost effective way to meet emissions.
    It is not good business practice to kill off your customers. This has been the case since the kz1000.

    • Jeremy says:

      The GP bikes haven’t had any semblance to the road bikes at the dealership for as long as I’ve been alive.

  6. Mr.Mike says:

    You Humans are boring, fallible lumps of meat. I’m looking forward to watching self-driving motorcycles race where the team whose bike has the best engineering and smartest software wins.

    • Tom K. says:

      Why stop there? Virtual racing wouldn’t even have to obey the laws of physics, it’d be like watching a Road Runner cartoon with motorcycles.

      But seriously, I have to wonder whether “money spent” is the over-riding factor in producing racing results. Are team budgets published anywhere? If so, do larger budgets translate to better results? And who is the most “efficient” team (best results per dollar spent). It’s hard to believe Honda doesn’t have the deepest pockets, but maybe they’re pinching nickels these days, especially if they believe that racing wins don’t translate into showroom traffic or sales.

    • Jeremy says:

      Joking aside, I would totally watch that.

    • Lewis Philips says:

      You said it right bro.

  7. joe b says:

    Possibly Honda should get 8 new young riders like Ducati, right?

    • Mick says:

      First they need a bike that is less crash prone. Having eight young guys wallowing around in the kitty litter isn’t going to do them any good.

      • joe b says:

        Ah yes, that easy. but then, all the bikes, and all the riders, seem to “crash”, with front end tucks, or rear end slide outs, seemingly at the wrong time dont they? its not just the Honda. Only until recently when “Ducati, found something” as Lorenzo put it, were they able to make their bikes turn, and the still fold the corners unable to turn like other brands everyone using the same tires. Even Quatararo, slid out in the last race, seemingly all of sudden, and before that, the Ducati, al by itself in second place, tucked the front and slid out. its not just the Honda, they all have bikes that are “crash prone”. Usually half of the Ducati’s crash out of every race. you see.

        • Mick says:

          Honda is singular in that they issued a new bike and their riders got a lot slower, crashed more often, or both.

          There will be another new Honda soon. The Ducatis are still faster and the riders are posting poor results and crashing more often. Inadequate engine and bad chassis. It’s too much of a turkey to tweak into an eagle. How it got to the track in the first place is something they really need to look at.

    • Lewis Philips says:

      They need to go back to the drawing board and re-write their formula for best bike and rider, that they may be able to be at far with their competitors.

  8. KenLee says:

    Another warning comes from Repsol, as their present contract with HRC is valid until the end of 2022 only and new one is still not signed yet. According to some rumors, they can split after 27 consecutive years of colaboration, if MM will not return with clear prospects on full recovery.

  9. 5229 says:

    The real issue is Honda’s top rider is injured. Look at Yamaha. Only rider doing anything on it is Fabio. If he were to get injured Yanaha would have nothing, similar to what is happening to Honda currently. An issue nobody is talking about is Ducati. Look at all the talented riders they have and have had. No championship since 2007.Marquez/Honda has been their nemesis for years. Marquez has been absent basically for Three seasons now. No championships for Ducati the past Two seasons and they’re in a deep hole this year. We’ll see how this season plays out. Mototgp needs Marquez back bad. The last lap battles have disappeared in his absence.

    • Jeremy says:

      I’ve always felt that the wrong way to make a championship winning bike is to make a bike that lots of riders can be competitive on. Honda has gotten a lot of criticism over the past decade about making a bike that is unrideable by all but one rider. The Honda that Marquez rode was an extreme machine that could do things other bikes on the grid couldn’t. The penalty for those extremes is an operating margin so small that it requires a superhuman to get the most out of the bike. Yamaha, for all the crap people, myself included, have given them about the bike being too slow in a straight line, have built a machine capable of amazing things under Fabio.

      Building a bike based on what the average MotoGP rider says is fast will get you and average bike. The elite of the elite on the grid will still be fast on it and potentially still challenge for the championship. But that elite rider would be faster on a machine that only he can get the most out of.

      So I agree… Honda needs Marquez back in full fitness, or they need another rider of that caliber to build a bike around.

      • Dave says:

        I think the reason people feel that Honda has lost their way is because that it wasn’t always a one rider bike. Repsol used to dominate with Pedrosa also taking wins while their second tier bikes also were competitive, it not able to win. Yamaha looked more like this until very recently. Even if they didn’t win the championship, usually all 4 bikes were in the top 10.

        To me Yamaha is more puzzling. Before last year they scored a whole lotta points with 4x bikes. Now it’s the Fabio show and even his formerly winning team mate hasn’t seen the front half of the grid this year. Yamaha is 1st, 19th, 21st and 22nd in the championship. Honda is 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th.

        I am sure they’re frustrated.

  10. Steven says:

    Honda should serious consider picking up Guinters as a test rider now that he’s probably no longer working for Suzuki. His involvement in making the Suzuki MotoGP bike competitive should be respected.

  11. joe b says:

    Its more than just “Has Honda lost its way?”. Its pretty obvious, Honda had MM93,and he dominated. Similar to when Rossi had his mojo, and now it seems Yamaha has Quartararo. Ducati on the other hand, has half a dozen or more really fast riders, and its Ducati’s year to loose. Their bike is fast, they have really fast riders, and whatever they “Found”, it turns now. So many want to jump on how bad the Honda is, or management who in the past always seemed to make the right choices about everything, has a different puzzle to understand. At this level, you cant just snap your fingers and fix it, all the other teams are really fast and can threaten to win at any race. Now with Mark Marquez missing, its not complete, and their other riders, aren’t championship winning riders. For years everyone wanted more competition, not a runaway rider like MM93 pulling away eary and not letting up. And we have that now. “Has Honda lost its way?” I doubt it. But that is just my opinion. When Stoner seemed the only one to be able to ride the Ducati, and fell now and then, many criticized him for crashing. When others tried to ride the bike, they were lost. I can only assume its like that today, with the MotoGP Honda. Good racing, having the motogp.com makes is even better. That Aprilia and KTM have become competitive, is impressive. Suzuki doesnt want to go bankrupt, and is leaving, its all changing. No one, I think, can put their finger and say, “This is it”. It takes a long time to develop a winning team. Everyone thought Ducati/Rossi combination would be so brutal, they were lost. They are dumping all the older riders, for young talent, 8 riders. Honda is not the only team, that has problems.

  12. Grover says:

    It’s possible that MM has peaked and along with his history of injuries may never be a champion again. I find it hard to blame the bike for all of Hondas (and MM’s) current problems. Perhaps a management change will make a difference and all our BarcaLounger quarterbacking will be correct assumptions, though it’s hard to believe that the race fans have more wisdom than the folks on the inside that have millions invested that dearly want to win another championship. I’m sure that by now they realize that setting all their hopes on a champion that may or may not make a comeback is a risky approach to further success. MM is only a single crash away from becoming MotoGp’s greatest fan instead of Hondas greatest hope.

  13. fred says:

    Whether or not Honda has “lost its way”, the team is definitely struggling. Hopefully Marc will be back to full strength after this latest surgery. As for Mir, while he (like all the others) is a good rider/racer, his Championship is tainted/asterisked. Like Nicky, he deserved the Championship, but it was a bit of an anomaly. Rins is clearly faster than Mir, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is a better rider/racer. Fast is good. Finishing is good.

    To me, with Marc out of the game, MotoGP is much less interesting. The racing may be close, but other than Fabio, and occasionally Pecco, it’s difficult to believe that any of the current crop could beat a healthy Marc with any kind of regularity.

  14. Silver says:

    I can’t believe they still pay Alberto Spooge to be a part of that team

  15. motorhead says:

    Agreeing with the article and many below: Puig has to go. His quote about the 2020 season is all him projecting his own weaknesses and doubt onto others: “But my opinion, and I know what I am talking about, is that when you win but the champion is not on the track you always have something left inside.” “I will set my example: I won a race here in 1995, and I’ve always wondered if I would have won it if Mick Doohan hadn’t fallen.”[7] Jack Miller responded that he had “heard two people say now two questions about the validity of the championship, and it’s a complete crock”.[7]

    Such nonsense that minimizes accomplishment because of things outside of one’s control (who’s on the track when you win) can only demotivate his own riders. Plus pushing his riders before recovery from injuries, means he should be shown the door today. Who wants to join a team with a leader that lacks confidence?

  16. Nedly says:

    I for one couldn’t be happier that Honda have been relegated to back marker status over the last 3 seasons. Being completely embarrassed in MotoGP and WSBK is just delightful. It’s probably too much to hope the Puig gets a pink slip followed by a foot in the nuts, that would just be the icing on the cake.

  17. Jim says:

    Anyone who has purchased a recent Honda probably realizes that something is missing from the secret sauce lately.

    • MGNorge says:

      Details please, care to elaborate?

      • Jim says:

        Honda was once a Quality and Engineering juggernaut. Like Toyota they have slipped to a position closer to parity with their peers.

        • Dave says:

          To be fair to Honda, they’ve focused on different areas than their peers in innovation. DCT transmission, unique configurations like NC700x and its cruisy cousin, the ADV flavor scooters, etc. These things may not have resonated with more traditional moto customers for not winning the “spec sheet” race but they’re undeniably successful globally.

          They’ve also been stung a couple of times by listening to market feedback that failed to materialize. See VFR800. It was the bike we “said” we wanted them to get back to and we rewarded them for it by waiting until they went on clearance to buy them. “Perfect is the enemy of progress” as they say.

          I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Africa Twin. If they’re taking care of their customers on the issues listed then I consider them to be minor.

          • Jeremy says:

            I agree. I think Honda knows the times are changing, and their product development has been focused on that for a while, now. I also think they still make some nice bikes for the traditional motorcycle market as well. I personally think their CB naked bikes might be the best looking bikes in their categories. The Africa Twin is wildly popular where I live, and their owners absolutely love them. They’ve got some good stuff out there, and their weird stuff – like Groms, Monkeys, and NCs – must be really finding their niche as well if casual observation is any indication of their success as a whole.

          • Grover says:

            The latest VFR is nothing like what the consumer wanted. We asked for 1000cc with gear drive and ended up with a bloated 800cc bike with V-Tec. Don’t know who they surveyed to come up with that combination, but it sure wasn’t their target audience. I have lost hope that we’ll ever see a decent V4 like the older generation of Interceptors.

      • Jim says:

        Look at the Africa Twin. Tank recalls, rim quality issues, frame paint quality issues. Keeps getting bigger rather than smaller as the market asks. Hawk11 derivative is frankly DOA. NT1100 is uninspired to say the least. That’s just one platform…

  18. Grumpy Farmer says:

    Never doubt Big Red.

  19. endoman38 says:

    It’s a shame, as HRC should be able to build the best bikes. Ego maybe?

  20. dt-175 says:

    it’s as though marquez is as far ahead of the bike as the others are behind it and that this is the reason for his many recent crashes. or that taming it slightly for the others has dulled it too much for mm#93, to the point of making it unrideable/dangerous for him. and alberto puig is a terrible team manager.

  21. Mick says:

    I think it’s odd that the MotoGP fan base seems to expect Honda to employ both of the Suzuki riders. Why would they both be so focused on Honda? Honda signed one of them. That should be enough. The other one wants a fat salary. Who doesn’t? Isn’t GP begging BMW to join the circus? Somebody has to ride for them if they do. Surely some of the other brands have an underperforming rider or two that could be replaced.

    Honda has long been the company that simply buys the fast guy. I would expect them to go after Q or Bags. That Q wasn’t signed by Honda recently is rather surprising to me. He is clearly a fast guy.

    Time will tell if Marquez or Rins works out for Honda. If they stay in the also ran category for another couple of seasons, you can expect them to start raising a fuss. Maybe Repsol will jump ship. That would be hilarious.

    • Dave says:

      Honda has been peculiar in the time I’ve been watching. While they often have the fastest guy, they’ll sometimes inexplicably let them go (Rossi, Jeremy McGrath, etc.). I’ve heard it speculated that they never want the rider to be a bigger star than the bike. While Marquez has never been as big a “star” as Rossi, it’s hard to imagine a much more popular rider among the current paddock so maybe they’ve come off of that. I can’t see Marquez riding anywhere else. I think he’s Repsol’s guy (as opposed to Honda’s). He’ll likely retire there. The big question is who’s next?

      Mir needs to come off his money demands if he wishes to remain in a factory team. While he’s consistent, in the current climate, he is not a realistic title favorite on any bike. If he misses the Honda train, where will he go?

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s the paddock insiders that expect Mir to go to Honda, and that’s why everyone else is expecting it, too.

      I think FQ is superstar status, and I don’t believe Honda will throw money at another superstar until they are certain Marquez has lost the edge. And I don’t think FQ would go to Honda anyway. Mir may be the 2020 champion, but he’s no superstar. Rins actually has more wins and podiums on the Suzuki. Mir has one win I think, and his results haven’t been too stellar since 2020. I think he is a good second to run alongside Marquez. But I think Mir needs to realize that, despite his champion status, he hasn’t demonstrated that he had what it takes to routinely be a podium threat in the current field. He needs to do that then play hardball on the next contract season. As it stands, if he has a decent offer from Honda, he’d better be asking someone for a pen.

      • Dave says:

        Rins does have more wins than Mir but looking at the 2021 points standings it’s easy to see who the better rider actually is. Mir = 3rd, Rins = 13th. Mir is again showing to be the more consistent of the two this year.

        I agree about Mir’s prospects. He needs to sign onto a competitive bike and build his case. Doesn’t want to wind up like Dovi over money he’s not likely to get right now.

        • Jeremy says:

          I wasn’t trying to make a case that Rins was the better rider. I was just trying to illustrate my point that despite being a world champ, Mir’s race-to-race accomplishments haven’t achieved a level on par with other championship contenders.

          Those in the know say Mir rides a lot like Marquez and that the Honda should suit him. I hope he signs on the dotted line because I’d like to know how true that is.

          • Dave says:

            Yup, I agree with that.

            I am surprised to hear the comment about Mir/Marquez being similar. I thought Mir was a smooth/corner speed stylist, more similar to Lorenzo. If that’s wrong then I’d think either the Honda (as we knew it before) or the Ducati (far more abundant) would both be good platforms for him. He needs to come off of the money demand. I just don’t think that’s going to happen for him. Get on the bike, get moving.

  22. PABLO66 says:

    I don’t think Honda has lost their way but probably did sit back on their laurels and did not make many changes or upgrades to their bike due to the fact that untill his crash in 2019 MM 93 had dominated the Moto GP class since 2013 when he won the championship as a rookie ,and as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke why fix it “.The other manufacturers during this period have been working hard & improving their machines to try & match MM 93 on the repsol Honda .Now with MM 93 sidelined & none of their present riders able to tame the beast this has left Honda lagging behind.. The strong beleif that Honda has engineered their bike to suit the riding style of MM 93 , my thinking this is not completely true since Marquez came in as a rookie in 2013 & won the championship as a rookie on a bike which he did not have much saddle time, most riders who have changed teams & riding a different manufacturers bike it always takes a while before they adapt to the new bike ,this tells me the guy is super talented & willing to ride on the edge ” all in or nothing ” and MM adapted to the bike & rode the Honda to 6 Moto Gp championships.I beleive if he was riding on another manufacturer bike maybe he would have had the same resultS.

  23. TimC says:

    Honda has always had the attitude that the bike is perfect and the rider secondary. Let’s not forget how Rossi quit Honda to inform them of their error.

    The corner they’ve rammed their tender rectums into is hardly a surprise, but it is of course still hilarious.

  24. motorhead says:

    Dirck, your comment, as you say “the lack of a reasoned approach at Honda” is a huge problem. Ignoring problems is not unusual for a company as large as Honda, which likely feel it’s sheer size provides sufficient inertia for good things to happen again. A unknown walk-on wins the podium. But usually good things don’t just happen. Puig is paid to not mistakes or stumble, and therefore not admitting mistakes or a displaying stumbling is what he’s doing. The end-of-season results will eventually force a regime change.

    • MGNorge says:

      I agree. There are undoubtedly many facets to this all and pointing to a singular part of the program as sole reason for the recent results may be missing something? Honda has something of a long history of entering contests, dominating them, and then backing away until they renter or contest another event. If Honda wants to be on the podium, and Puig is deemed to not be able to deliver, we’ll see a regime change as already mentioned.

  25. Phil B says:

    Before he signs anything, maybe Mir should ask to ride the Honda some.He might just take that sabbatical.

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