July 13, 2024

Honda would like to save the MotoGP project with F1 expertise

Honda would like to save the MotoGP project with F1 expertise

Things couldn’t be more different for Honda’s motorsport divisions right now: In Formula 1, the Japanese, as Red Bull’s engine supplier, are currently celebrating one Grand Prix victory after another. In MotoGP, on the other hand, the once proud Honda team currently stands no chance against Ducati’s supremacy.

Honda only won one race—thanks to LCR customer driver Alex Rins, who moved to Yamaha at the end of the season. Oddly enough, the Japanese competitor is the only manufacturer currently in a worse position. At the British Grand Prix, Honda and Yamaha recently took just three championship points.

The Repsol factory team has only scored points once in 2023 – through Joan Mir in the season opener. However, only one Grand Prix finish secured a Repsol finish, and that was reserve jockey Iker Lecona in Spain. Currently regular drivers Marc Marquez and Mir can only dream of victories or podium finishes.

In order to end the misery as quickly as possible, Honda is now pulling out all the stops: According to HRC President Koji Watanabe, the All-Wheel Drive Department, which is responsible for Formula 1, among other things, is now involved. Thanks to the experience gained from the successful Red Bull partnership, the stranded MotoGP project will be brought back to life.

“Within Honda, the cultures of two-wheelers and quad bikes are completely different,” Watanabe told Motorsport.com. This proved challenging when the two departments merged last year. “It took the entire first year to complete the merger – everything was different: the operation, the structure, the purchasing systems.”

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Watanabe admits that the slump in MotoGP is “a huge problem for Honda and HRC”. We want our power back. That is why the all-wheel drive team is now involved in the development of MotoGP. We strive to get tangible results as soon as possible.

However, these must come to light very soon – otherwise there is a risk of another severe setback: Superstar Marc Marquez is contemplating an early departure despite the current contract. KTM – runner-up in the Constructors’ Championship – aims to have two more spots in the MotoGP grid in order to be able to offer the Spaniard a working bike.