Honda: We weren't always at Marquez's level in 2018

Honda MotoGP team boss Alberto Puig admits the Japanese manufacturer has not always given newly-crowned champion Marc Marquez the equipment his talent "deserves" in 2018.

Honda: We weren't always at Marquez's level in 2018

Marquez came into last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi with his first chance to wrap up a fifth premier class title, and did so with his eighth win of the year as chief rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed on the penultimate lap.

Former 500cc racer Puig took over from Livio Suppo as the boss of the works Repsol Honda operation ahead of the 2018 season, and was full of praise for Marquez's ability to make up for the shortcomings of his machinery - admitting that sometimes the RC213V was not a match for his talent.

"I already knew he was a champion, someone really fast and with a huge ability to adapt to any kind of circumstances and to any kind of bike," Puig told Motorsport.com.

"From my personal point of view, he’s someone that pays attention and listens, accepts advice even though he is a world champion. This is quite rare in a champion of his level. 

"He’s always in constant evolution. He adapts very well to every kind of circumstances and especially to the bike he’s got. Many people don’t take that into account, but the fact that a rider wins races doesn’t mean his bike is good.

"Sometimes you have to add that thing the bike is missing, and Marc is the one with the best ability to do that. Others don’t know how to do it.

"He doesn’t complain at all. And we’ve been through times in which, honestly, the Honda hasn’t been at the level a champion like him deserves.

"But he has overcome those moments without complaining and we appreciate it a lot."

Podium: race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Podium: race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Marquez's acceptance of Lorenzo no shock

Jorge Lorenzo recently told Motorsport.com that he had to be "grateful" to Marquez for not standing in the way of the his switch to Honda in 2019, with the current Ducati rider replacing the retiring Dani Pedrosa next season.

Puig said he was not surprised by Marquez's attitude towards the situation and that the 25-year-old had no preference as to who he will share a garage with.

"At the end of the day he is a champion," said Puig. "Lorenzo and [Valentino] Rossi were teammates for many years [at Yamaha]. Also, Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson shared box, as well as Rainey and John Kocinski, Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer.

"Marc is a professional and knows that best teams only allow the best riders. He is focused on his work and is aware he’s going to fight against the best: Lorenzo and the rest, no matter the bike.

"His reasoning is very practical, he says to me 'What are you telling me? Do whatever you need to do, and I’ll try my best to win'. He doesn’t think so much about it."

Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Rossi: Suzuki is stronger than Yamaha now

Previous article

Rossi: Suzuki is stronger than Yamaha now

Next article

Nakagami "really sorry" to fans for Motegi performance

Nakagami "really sorry" to fans for Motegi performance
Load comments
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021