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Puig concerned by timeframe needed for Honda MotoGP turnaround

Honda MotoGP team manager Alberto Puig is concerned at the timeframe needed to improve its underperforming bike and fears “to fix it in two months will not be easy”.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

As MotoGP enters its six-week summer break, Honda is looking to solve its MotoGP crisis with three of its riders out injured and a bike which is at the back of the field alongside fellow Japanese manufacturer strugglers Yamaha.

To make matters worse, during the triple-header in June, Honda lost Joan Mir and Alex Rins to injury while Marc Marquez battled through the pain of a fractured rib and hand, which still stopped him from contesting the two grand prix races at the Sachsenring and Assen.

With a severely reduced rider force to lead development, and a change of philosophy at odds with HRC bosses, Puig concedes resurrecting Honda’s 2023 MotoGP season is a tough ask.

“It’s not a good moment when you have three riders in and out of hospital, and the problems we are facing lately, it’s not going to be possible to turn things from night to day,” Puig said.

“It’s clear that we still could not find a solution. It’s not that we’re not trying, but we’re not at the point of solving it. The situation is not good at all, but the only thing we can do is keep trying to come out of this.

Alberto Puig, Team Manager Repsol Honda Team

Alberto Puig, Team Manager Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“We are a long way behind. Frankly speaking, to fix it in two months will not be an easy task. If you don’t try, you never know, but it would be very optimistic to think we will have a high-performance bike in two months.”

Honda has seen its European factory rivals all jump ahead with MotoGP bike development over the last couple of years, with Ducati currently dominating from KTM and Aprilia, but Puig says adopting the approach by its competition hasn’t been a ploy its Japanese management are comfortable with.

"The European brands, in the last few years, were very aggressive in their approach to bike development and took risks,” he explained.

“The Japanese are much more conservative, but, with the parts that are currently on the table, and based on the results, surely they have to change that approach and be more reactive than they have been so far.”

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