Honda: Marquez’s FP2 crash cost him Assen MotoGP podium shot

Honda boss Alberto Puig believes Marc Marquez would have fought for the podium in the MotoGP Dutch Grand Prix had his heavy FP2 crash not “complicated” his weekend.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team crash

Marquez had a huge highside during second practice at Assen last Friday and hurt his right ankle after a heavy impact with the ground.

The crash was blamed on the Honda’s electronics, with Marquez admitting he was “angry” with how the crash happened and lost confidence in the bike as a result.

But Honda reacted immediately and introduced tweaks to the bike’s electronics which eventually gave Marquez his confidence back.

Wary that Assen would be a tougher challenge for both Marquez and Honda than the Sachsenring where the six-time world champion won, Puig is confident his rider could have fought for the podium again without his FP2 crash.

“Yes, Sachsenring is a track which is very suitable for the Honda and also for Marc Marquez,” Puig said after the Assen race.

“Marc had the chance there and he grabbed it with both hands. In the past Assen has never been an easy track like this, and it has been much tougher for all the Honda HRC riders.

“We clearly understood it wouldn’t be easy before we arrived.

“On Friday, Marc’s crash made the weekend even more complicated.

“Without that crash, I think he would have been fighting for the podium as he wouldn’t have lost the confidence he did.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Alberto Puig, Repsol Honda Team Team Principal race

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Alberto Puig, Repsol Honda Team Team Principal race

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez dropped into Q1 at Assen having struggled on Saturday morning and FP3, with a crash in qualifying leaving him 20th on the grid.

However, he leaped up to 12th at the end of the opening lap and went on to finish seventh, with Marquez admitting he ended the race physically better than he anticipated despite the strain the Assen track put on his weak right shoulder.

“We saw a great recovery from Marc at the beginning of the race,” Puig added.

“He started in 20th and he recovered almost ten positions in just a single lap, this was the Marc that we know.

“It shows his effort and the potential that he has, we are really looking forward to seeing him again in Austria after the break when he has recovered even further.”

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