Marquez fought until the ultimate lap with Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia in final Sunday’s Aragon GP, however finally got here up second-best to the Italian in an exhilarating scrap.
The anti-clockwise nature of Aragon negated the constraints Marquez nonetheless at the moment has with the suitable facet of his physique, whereas additionally permitting him to experience across the 2021 Honda’s deficiencies.
Whereas Marquez and Honda are nonetheless a great distance off from their 100% potential, there have been many who’ve agreed that the Japanese producer’s poor efficiency is a direct consequence of its personal philosophy – which concentrates most of its sources and a focus on Marquez, with out making an allowance for the wants of the opposite riders of the model.
For Puig, what occurred with Marquez won’t make Honda transfer a single millimetre away from the strategy that led the Japanese producer to 6 titles in seven years with the Spaniard.
“Our philosophy will not change in any manner as a result of Marc has been in ache for a yr and a half,” Puig informed Motorsport.com at Aragon.
“He isn’t simply one other rider. He isn’t simply the very best Honda rider, he is the very best on the planet.
“Now we have an extended contract (till 2024), and we are going to do all the pieces we are able to to offer him the bike he deserves. Clearly Pol [Espargaro] can also be essential, however Marc’s observe document is what it’s.”
The numbers are the principle argument of those that defend that Honda is fallacious to place all its eggs in the identical basket.
Within the 15 grands prix that Marquez missed whereas recovering from the damaged proper arm he suffered in final yr’s Spanish GP, Honda scored simply two podium finishes, each second locations for Alex Marquez, at Le Mans and Aragon.
Since his return at Portimao, Marc Marquez has already equalled these two podiums from 2021 by profitable at Sachsenring and ending second final Sunday at Motorland – although has registered essentially the most crashes of any rider this season with 18.
Regardless of lacking the primary two races, Marquez is the very best positioned of the Honda riders.
He’s tenth within the total standings with 79 factors. Subsequent is Takaaki Nakagami in 13th with 64 factors. Pol Espargaro is 14th on 55 factors and Alex Marquez 15th 49 factors.
If HRC, via Puig, doesn’t intend to alter its technique, it’s primarily based on a perception: the conviction that its flagship rider will as soon as once more be ready to impose its dominance.
And that perception stems from a sense that has been greater than confirmed: “Have you learnt why I’ve little question that Marc might be again to his previous self? As a result of he hasn’t turn into afraid”, Puig displays.
“As a result of he stopped for a very long time and when he ran once more he fell once more going very quick. However he bought up and went even quicker once more.
“In a rider, concern is what makes the distinction between those that are forward and people who are usually not; those that, after hurting themselves on the primary day, are eight tenths of a second behind the primary, then one second behind, then two seconds behind after which they go residence.”