MotoGP in Austin and a big defeat for Honda / MotoGP

MotoGP in Austin and a big defeat for Honda / MotoGP

Since its debut at the “Circuit of the Americas” in 2013, there have been eight major victory celebrations in the Honda pits. In 2024, the two teams will leave Texas disappointed with a lot of zero points.

The performance of the four Honda drivers in the US GP is difficult to put into words. Johann Zarco, Joan Mir, Taka Nakagami and Luca Marini took the final four places in qualifying. The gap to the front of the field was more than two seconds.

In the sprint race, apart from Luca Marini, all other RC213V pilots were eliminated. Like in a bad movie, the events of Sunday’s GP were repeated – the only difference was that Johann Zarco had to park his LCR Honda early due to technical problems. Zero points for the whole Honda MotoGP project. The highest psychological punishment: In Texas, of all places, the place where the world of Honda always seemed to be good – even in 2023 the performance was enough for the victory of COTA – now there was the biggest slap of sports.

The Frenchman Zarco After two failures, he showed himself to be a composed professional: “I still have a positive attitude and I have no reason to be disappointed. You have to understand how big the project is that Honda is moving forward. There are so many new things and as wonderful as it sounds, it’s only a matter of time. It is true that Honda has achieved many successes in the past and now it is the opposite. The truth is, Honda has the ability to get this under control. I can’t talk about the technical details because that’s the work of the engineers, but like I said, we’re working on it and we’re looking forward to it.”

Regarding his failure in the Grand Prix race, the veteran said: “It was a matter of shocks. These became very aggressive, very quickly. At first I thought the rear device (remember: ride height; lowering and raising the rear) was faulty, but the reason was different. In any case, I decided to finish the race because it didn’t make sense to continue with the strong vibrations.”

The Japanese pilot’s words were harsher. Taka Nakagami, who has more experience on the RC213V, spoke candidly in Texas about the worst weekend of racing in his career. “It’s a very bad time, I’m disappointed with everything. I’m speechless. We’re nowhere. I would never have expected that. It’s really impossible for us to lose more than two seconds. It’s a mechanic’s job to understand the problem. We drivers will always push ourselves to the limit.”

Worse: “The LCR pilot does not see a direct way out of the situation: “I have a feeling that no one has a solution. It is very difficult, also because there is no single point that we can mark and then deal with. Everything is messed up and the worst thing is that I can’t even feel where it’s causing problems.”

Nakagami describes the cornering behavior of the current MotoGP Honda as the biggest drama: “When I turn the bike, the full sense of the front of the machine disappears. It feels impossible, but I don’t know what the bike does when it leans. I try to work a lot with the body, but that is not the solution to the problem.”

The Repsol-Honda Pilot was also confused but with more humor Joan Mir for major bankruptcy.
The former world champion said with a smile about his race: My start was very bad, but if you are behind then it doesn’t make much difference. I tried really hard to catch up with the group in front of me with Fabio and the Aprilia guys. Unfortunately I crashed in the sixth turn and that was it. I tried.”

Regarding the general situation, Mir added: “The situation is very difficult at the moment. We want to move forward, but we have limits. And if we push and the bike stops after a few laps, that makes it very difficult.
During the press conference, Mir, who is in his second year with the most successful team in Grand Prix history and the most unsuccessful team today, confirmed that Honda is also working on a new engine. “It is right that Honda is working on new specifications for this year.”

Only official factory and test drivers will take part in the test next Friday at the Catalunya GP track. Nakagami and Zarco grab the handle again in Jerez for the Spanish GP training.
After the disastrous events in Austin, a collective low has been reached from the perspective of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. It can only get better.

US GP Results:
1. Maverick Viñales (L) Aprilia 41:09.503 minutes.
2. Pedro Acosta (E) GASGAS +1.728 sec.
3. Enea Bastianini (I) Ducati +2.703 sec.
4. Jorge Martín (L) Pramac Ducati +4.690 sec.
5. Francesco Bagnaia (I) Ducati +7.392 sec.
6. Fabio Di Giannantonio (I) VR46 Ducati +9.980 sec.
7. Aleix Espargaró (E) Aprilia +12.208 seconds.
8. Marco Bezzecchi (I) VR46 Ducati +13.343 sec.
9. Brad Binder (ZA) KTM +14.931 sec.
10. Raúl Fernández (E) Trackhouse Aprilia +16.656 sec.
11. Miguel Oliveira (P) Trackhouse Aprilia +18,542 sec.
12. Fabio Quartararo (F) Yamaha +22,899 sec.
13. Jack Miller (AUS) KTM +24,011 sec.
14. Augusto Fernandez (E) GASGAS +27.652 sec.
15. Alex Márquez (L) Gresini Ducati +32.855 sec.
16. Luca Marini (I) Repsol Honda +33,528 sec.
17. Marc Márquez (ESP) Gresini Ducati out
18. Alex Rins (E) Yamaha out
19. Joan Mir (E) Repsol Honda out
20. Franco Morbidelli (I) Pramac Ducati out
21. Takaaki Nakagami (J) LCR Honda out
22. Johann Zarco (F) LCR Honda out

World Championship of Drivers to Austin:
1. Martin 80
2. Bastianini 59
3. Vinales 56
4. Acosta 54
5. Bagnaia 50
6. Fastener 49
7. Espargaro 39
8. Marc Marquez 36
9. And Giannantonio 25
10. Miller 22
11. Bezzecchi 20
12. Every quarter
13. Alex Márquez 14
14. Oliveira 13
15. Raúl Fernández 7
16. Augusto Fernandez 7
17. Mir 7
18. Zarco 5
19. When 3
20. Nakagami 2
21. Morbidelli 0
22. Marini 0

1. Ducati 96
2. KTM 76
3. April 72
4. Yamaha 19
5. Honda 8
1. Ducati Lenovo 109
2. April 95
3. Pramac 80
4. KTM 71
5. YEAR 61
6. Grease 50
7. VR46 45
8. Yamaha 22
9. Trackhouse 20
10. Honda 7
11. LCR 7