Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era
The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.
The Japanese traditions of racing that led Honda and Yamaha to dominate MotoGP have become their main burdens at a time when the championship has required manufacturers to modernise their structures and adapt to the new times.
Although that impression could be viewed as subjective, the statistics are not. Two weeks ago, at Sachsenring, Honda failed to score points for the first time in a grand prix since 1982. A week later it was Yamaha who left Assen with nothing for the first time since Misano 1989. Those two eventualities are too extraordinary not to be related, a suspicion that is absolutely validated when one digs a little beyond the results and talks to members of both teams.
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