For the primary time in its historical past, the HRC didn’t place any of its drivers in one of many high 4 locations within the two opening races of the championship. Pol Espargaró’s eighth place within the opening spherical is certainly one of the best consequence obtained by the model throughout the double journey to Qatar, a reality unprecedented within the premier class.
The weakest begin to the championship was beforehand final yr, when Takaaki Nakagami saved the day by ending fourth within the second race in Jerez, whereas Honda’s greatest putting within the first race was solely tenth. , additionally obtained by the Japanese pilot.
Beforehand, the HRC had at all times been on the rostrum in both of the primary two races of the season, for the reason that producer’s racing division joined its present Grand Prix program in 1982. This Nonetheless, this was solely the case till 2019: in different phrases, the 2 worst season begins correspond to the 2020 and 2021 seasons …
This unflattering new file solely additional underscores Honda’s dependence on its star rider, Marc Marquez. Injured throughout the first Grand Prix of 2020, he missed the beginning of 15 races and can lastly make his return to competitors this week, 9 months after his accident. He has weighed so closely within the outcomes of the Japanese producer lately that it’s virtually solely because of him that Honda and its official staff have gained the titles that complemented their very own victory within the drivers’ championship. Nonetheless, after the triple crown of 2019, which additionally corresponded to a powerful file of 420 factors gained by Marquez, Honda has hit all-time low: for the very first time, the model has not gained a race in 2020, and it doesn’t There have been solely two podiums to light up the outcomes of a black season.
If the 2021 season ought to permit to restart the machine, the outcomes curves remained fairly bleak throughout the first two conferences. With eighth and thirteenth locations, Pol Espargaró is one of the best ranked driver within the group, tenth within the championship because of his 11 factors. The Repsol Honda staff is for its half fifth within the staff standings with 18 factors in opposition to 72 for the official Yamaha construction. Within the constructors’ championship, the model with the golden wing is tied with KTM, in final place.
Honda labored exhausting in 2020 to make corrections to a bike that was mentioned to have solely been ridden by Marc Marquez till then. The conclusions of the Qatar races, nonetheless, forged doubt on whether or not the adjustments put in place really paid off.
The 4 drivers within the group have every fallen firstly of the season, accumulating eight crashes in two Grands Prix after having already bitten the mud throughout pre-season testing, typically closely. Injured throughout testing, then crashed thrice throughout the Grands Prix, Álex Márquez described the RC213V as a “crucial motorbike and with which one can simply make a mistake”.
With the long-awaited return of the group chief to Portimão, HRC officers will due to this fact be keen to grasp if the pattern may be reversed. It is a secure guess that Marc Marquez’s first feedback might be scrutinized rigorously, not solely to estimate his bodily kind, but in addition to see if he’ll handle to tame a prototype that provides his colleagues a lot issue.