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MotoGP Dutch GP

Honda test rider Bradl thinks its troubled MotoGP bike "can be fixed"

Honda test rider Stefan Bradl believes the Japanese marque’s troubled MotoGP bike “can be fixed” but it needs more time.

Stefan Bradl, Repsol Honda Team

The recent triple-header prior to the summer break were bruising for Honda, which had three riders – Joan Mir, Alex Rins and Marc Marquez – suffer various broken bones as a result of crashes.

Rins had to undergo two operations on a badly broken leg after a crash in the Mugello sprint, while Mir fractured his hand at the Italian Grand Prix and has been absent since.

Marquez suffered a fracture to his thumb and rib in the fifth of five crashes at the German GP, which ultimately forced him out of the Sachsenring GP and the Sunday race at Assen.

Honda sits second-to-last in the manufacturers’ standings, with Rins’ podium in the sprint and victory at the Americas GP in April continuing to be an outlier in the Japanese marque’s results.

Bradl, who deputised for Rins at LCR at the Dutch GP, says Honda’s bike struggles have not been sudden but believes the current challenger can be improved.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Asked if Honda needed a complete overhaul of its bike for 2024, Bradl said: “I think it can be fixed and I’m sure Honda has the power and the equipment to do so.

“But it’s a matter of time. I think also we have seen that our performance was not dropping massively in one, two, three months; it was a process of a number of years, I would say.

“And now we will take probably a similar time to get back at a decent level.

“I can say that we need more time and also we have to be calm, because nowadays all the news is so important and crazy [but] it just requires more time and it seems like we don’t have it.

“I think that you know that the Japanese culture and the Japanese mentality is not going to change the company in one week. So, it’s going to take a while, and this is the process.”

Marquez’s miserable Germany weekend prompted him to rethink his approach for the Dutch GP, in which he was a distant 17th before withdrawing from the grand prix due to his rib injury.

Asked at Assen what he thought of Marquez’s Germany crashes, Bradl noted: “I thought a lot of respect because he’s still giving his 100%, even more.

“And he’s trying, even though he realises that the bike and the tools he has is not ready for that level. But he’s trying.”

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