Honda has "serious problems" with 2022 MotoGP bike

Pol Espargaro says Honda has "serious problems" with rear grip on its 2022 MotoGP bike after a "really bad" Portuguese Grand Prix.

Honda has "serious problems" with 2022 MotoGP bike
Listen to this article

Honda overhauled its RC213V for the 2022 season after several lean seasons prompted by Marc Marquez's serious arm injury in 2020 and a lack of results for HRC's other riders.

The new bike was met with glowing praise by most Honda riders in the pre-season, as the more rear-biased motorcycle delivered the rear grip it had been missing for some time.

While the feeling on the front end was different – with this being the key issue in Marquez's understanding of the bike currently – Honda started strongly in Qatar, with Espargaro finishing third after fighting for victory.

But aside from Marquez's rise up the field to sixth in Austin, strong results have been hard to come by since the opening round of the season.

In Portugal, all Honda riders struggled for pace, with Marquez leading his brother Alex Marquez in sixth, while Espargaro was ninth – all three HRC runners over 16 seconds from the victory.

Branding his race as "tough, difficult and really bad", Espargaro says the main issue at Portimao was a lack of rear grip and is at a complete loss as to what is causing this.

"We're missing what we had on the pre-season, it's difficult to understand because we do not stop the bike in the correct place with the rear brake," he began.

"And then we are leaning too much, opening the throttle and spinning on the edge. It makes no sense also that we chose the hard rear tyre and the other riders on the grid chose the medium.

"We chose the hard because it felt better for us on the acceleration, the traction, but we saw Marc use the medium and it was the same.

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

"We are always choosing between what we want to get: side grip or drive grip.

"They [our rivals] have both, so why do we need to choose? It's difficult to understand because the bike we are using now, it was working perfectly in Qatar or in the pre-season.

"All the riders agreed, the feelings of everyone were good – apart from some small problems in the front. But nobody was complaining about the rear.

"And now we have serious problems and we don't know how to solve them. Now it's time to be united in the factory, work in one line together."

Read Also:

Espargaro added that no major changes have been made to the Honda since pre-season testing as it was "by far" the fastest bike on the grid.

"We have made no big change on the bike, just small settings that will not produce that [problem with rear grip]," he noted.

"Why do we need to change the bike if we were fastest in the pre-season? It makes no sense to change the bike.

"In the pre-season we were the fastest in one lap, but also the fastest in rhythm by far.

"So, we didn't change the bike because the bike was amazing. We added some small details that didn't produce this big change and we are suffering."

shares
comments

Related video

Mir hopes Miller will “learn” from their Portugal MotoGP tangle
Previous article

Mir hopes Miller will “learn” from their Portugal MotoGP tangle

Next article

Rins: Nobody believed Portugal MotoGP fightback was possible

Rins: Nobody believed Portugal MotoGP fightback was possible
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Prime

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Prime

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew members absorbed into other operations.

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years Prime

How one MotoGP team went from title challengers to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne? Prime

Is Marc Marquez ready to reclaim his MotoGP throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Motorsport.com.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Prime

How MotoGP's underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Motorsport.com why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Prime

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of more competition than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022