Repsol Honda Team endure trying Italian GP race day

Tenth place for Marc Marquez in the 23-lap race was the only reward for the Repsol Honda Tam after three intense days of work in Mugello.

Stable weather returned to the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley for race day once the overnight rain had dried. There were then no signs of the forecasted rain as the grid lined up for the 23-lap race. A great start aboard the RC213V saw Marc Marquez challenge the top five from 11th on the grid in the early stages as he pushed to stay with the leaders. Consistent pace in the high 1’47s to low 1’48s saw him defend his position as best he could, working to stay inside the top ten throughout the race. Crossing the line in 10th place after overtaking Fabio Di Giannantonio, Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team leave Italy with six more points.

Marc Marquez will now prepare for the fourth surgery on his right humerus, flying to the United States on Tuesday and therefore missing the Catalan Grand Prix.

Marc Márquez, 10º: “It was a tough race, like we were expecting. I gave everything in the first seven laps to see if I had the speed of the front riders and our pace wasn’t bad but then I started to struggle physically. I kept calm, I was riding with a comfortable rhythm, and I worked on understanding where we were losing compared to other bikes. The target was to give constructive comments to the team, and we achieved it. Now we have the most important ‘race’ of the season next week. It was difficult to concentrate because I know that next week is very important for my career, but I am proud to have done this race. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.”

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Marc Márquez salvage points from trying French GP

The French GP was ultimately a weekend of ups and downs as Marc worked to deliver the maximum potential result in Le Mans.

A morning spit of rain would ultimately amount to nothing as the Le Mans circuit hosted one of the hottest French Grands Prix in recent years. Over 100,000 passionate French fans made for an electric atmosphere as the MotoGP World Championship lined up for round seven of the 2022 season.

Both Repsol Honda Team riders started the race well when the lights went out at 14:00 Local Time, Marc Marquez opting for a wider line through the fast Turn One. There was no waiting around as the eight-time World Champion immediately began to work his way forward, sliding past Nakagami and Quartararo at the end of the first lap. Steady pace followed as Marquez tried to close the distance to the leading group on his RC213V, holding firm in seventh place for much of the race. Crashes ahead would see Marquez cross the line sixth place, collecting ten points.

With a total of 54 points, Marc Marquez maintains his position inside the top-ten in the overall standings.

There is now a week off before the Repsol Honda Team face yet another back-to-back challenge with Mugello and Barcelona, two iconic tracks within less than ten days of each other.

Marc Márquez, SIXTH: “I said yesterday that with a good race our position would be fifth, sixth or seventh and we finished sixth – even if our real position was ninth because there were some falls. It was a solid race at our pace, but it was a really long race and I wasn’t able to push towards the end. All we can do is keep on working, that’s the best way to improve for the future. My target is not just to be finishing as top Honda, it’s to be finishing on the podium but we are not there yet. There’s still more to understand in the next races to close the gap to the front.”                         

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Fighting fourth from Marquez ignites the Spanish GP crowd

It might not have been the podium he was aiming for, but Marc Marquez showed he’s ready to fight with a spirited ride to fourth.

Crowds at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España were back to their best as the flocked to the hills of the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto from dawn. Pushing 60,000, the home fans were wanting a show and the 25-lap MotoGP race certainly didn’t disappoint.

Initially launching off the line well, Marc Marquez found Aleix Espargaro in his path and had to alter his trajectory through the opening corner but quickly passed the Aprilia rider. A three-way game of chess would quickly emerge between Marquez, Aleix Espargaro and Miller as the trio tested each other for the majority of the race with a podium finish in view. The powder keg would ignite in the closing laps, Marquez attacking Miller and moving into third place with just five laps to go and with Miller so strong on the brakes, Marquez knew that attacking through the fast Turn 5 would be his best option as their chess game escalated.

From there it was a brawl as Marquez, Miller and Espargaro battled – an incredible save from the #93 at the final corner allowing Espargaro to just break away. A fired-up Marquez refused to let the moment hold him back as he fought until the very end with Miller, pushing his Honda RC213V to the limit and sending the crowd into a frenzy as he left long black lines around the track as Marquez looked to get past Miller again. 13 points in his pocket, Marquez moves up two positions into ninth overall in the championship and sits 45 points behind defending World Champion Fabio Quartararo.

The Repsol Honda Team will now remain in Jerez for the first in-season test of the year, a brief but important Monday test at the 4.4-kilometre-long track. The objective for both Marquez and Espargaro is to find the speed and feeling they had during the winter tests and return to consistently battling at the front of the field.

Marc Márquez, 4º: “Today I gave my maximum and achieved the maximum. I saved my energy through the whole weekend to be ready for Sunday because I’m still not in the condition to do a whole weekend at 100%. It’s the Spanish GP, I had to give it everything on race day. At one point in the race, I thought maybe the podium was possible, the key point was overtaking Miller and stopping Aleix because he was faster than us. This is what I tried to do but then at the last corner I lost the front and the rear but fortunately the Spanish crowd were there to pick me up and save the crash! We don’t give up; we keep pushing and now we prepare for an important Monday test.”

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Marc Márquez finishes sixth in Portugal

A pair of safe finishes for the Repsol Honda Team in at the Portuguese Grand Prix brought with them solid points as Marc Marquez crossed the line in sixth.

Sunday in Portimao started with perhaps the most important session of the weekend, the dry Warm Up the first real chance for the Repsol Honda Team to gather good data in the dry after two days of rain. Both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro spent the entirety of the session on track to maximise the information gained. A late lap saw Marquez end the morning in third with Espargaro further down the timesheet in 14th.

Marc Marquez put together a safe Grand Prix in Portimao, crossing the line in sixth place after a close battle with LCR Honda rider Alex Marquez which saw the pair battle to the finish line. Starting in ninth place, Marquez was able to hold position inside the group as the field filtered through the tight opening sector of the track. Settling into tenth place as the first lap came to a close, the eight-time World Champion made steady progress over the following laps and passed his teammate after a brief but intense battle with 19 laps to go. Falls ahead saw Marquez promoted two positions before he ultimately fought for sixth place against Alex Marquez, the pair’s battle going right to the finish.

After the race, Marquez heads to Jerez 11th in the World Championship standings with 31 points – now 38 points behind new World Championship leader and race-winner Fabio Quartararo.

The Repsol Honda Team will now head immediately to Jerez de la Frontera for round six of the MotoGP World Championship. Improving results on both sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage is the only objective for the weekend.

Marc Márquez, 6th: It’s not the result we want or want to be fighting for but today we did not have the feeling. Already in Warm Up I was not feeling how I wanted, and we made a small change for the race which helped a bit but the speed of our rivals was more than we had. We were there fighting with Pol in the start of the race and then Alex in the second half, it was an all-Honda battle really. Within this battle we were able to come out on top which was a positive but it’s true this is not where we should be. We need to be faster, in Jerez it’s time to be faster and finish closer to the front.”

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Marc Márquez finishes fifth in Qatar

After his lightning start, Marquez held strong as the likes of Brad Binder, Joan Mir and Bastianini piled on the pressure in the opening laps. Wanting more from the front tyre, the #93 lapped in the high 1’54s for most of the race as he defended his position in the top three. Taking home a safe fifth place when the flag came out positions Marquez well for the rest of the year, the eight-time World Champion knowing full well that seasons aren’t won at the first race.

Now the MotoGP World Championship prepares to head back to the Mandalika circuit in Indonesia for Round Two on March 20. The race will see MotoGP return to Indonesia for the first time since 1997, when Tadyuki Okada won the 500cc race on his NSR500 from Repsol Honda Team teammate Mick Doohan and Alex Criville.

Marc Márquez, 5th: “Honestly speaking the pace today was just too fast, the speed coming from Pol and the guys at the front was amazing. I did my maximum today and managed everything we had to, it’s the start of a new season and I thought to start with a top five is good for today. Today was not our day as I was struggling with the front tyre, so we kept calm. Of course, we need to keep working. I am happy for Pol and really happy for Honda HRC, this result shows all the work they have been doing and the potential of this new bike.”

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Repsol Honda Team reveal 2022 challenge

Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro launch the 2022 Repsol Honda Team livery as the start of a new season rapidly approaches.

The 2022 season begins with renewed motivation for the Repsol Honda Team. Despite experiencing hardships both on and off the track during 2021, there have been incredible highs and moments of celebrations in the last 12 months including a pole position, three wins and five podiums in total. 2021 saw the triumphant return to competition for Marc Marquez, returning to winning ways 581 days after his last win.

Marc Marquez begins 2022 fully recovered from the diplopia which ended his 2021 campaign early. The last two injury-hit seasons have not quelled his hunger and the eight-time World Champion is as determined to fight for the title in his tenth season with the Repsol Honda Team as in his first season. Since stepping up to the premier class in 2013, Marquez has earned six MotoGP World Championship titles, won 59 races, finished on the podium 99 times, and earned pole position on 62 occasions – all with the iconic Repsol Honda Team. All of these are numbers which the #93 is aiming to increase in 2022.

With a successful test in Sepang, Malaysia already under their belts, Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro are now preparing for a new challenge at the Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia with the Repsol Honda Team. Both riders will have three more days of riding before the 2022 MotoGP World Championship begins at the Losail International Circuit, Qatar on Sunday, March 06.

Marc Márquez, 93: “Ten seasons already in MotoGP and ten seasons in the Repsol Honda Team is a dream. I mean it’s something I couldn’t imagine in my best dreams, of course also during these ten years we have achieved very good results, so for sure this is something special and I want to enjoy it. I know we will try to win the title to celebrate it well! My goal this year is to try and fight for the championship. We have started the season well already in Malaysia and now we prepare to head forward to this test in Mandalika and continue our preparations.”

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