Honda wrote a piece of MotoGP history at the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. However, from a negative point of view: For the first time since Jarama in 1982, the Japanese motorcycle giant did not take a point from a World Championship race! But that is not enough.
After the race, Stefan Bradl, the only Honda rider to finish, complained about the excessive heat development on the RC213V. The fingers were burned after two laps, and a foot burned after ten laps, according to the German. No new problem at Honda, as brand colleague Álex Marquez reveals.
“We’ve had the problem before. Honda is working on it. I already had the problem in Barcelona,” says the LCR driver. In both cases, the races were held in bright sunshine and outside temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius or more (according to official figures 30 degrees in Barcelona, 35 degrees at the Sachsenring).
Nevertheless, the asphalt heated up more on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. 55 degrees were measured here and 51 degrees at the Sachsenring. However, the MotoGP riders struggle not only with the heat in the environment, but also with the warmth that the bike radiates. Especially the pilots from the Honda camp. It was easier for Marquez in Barcelona.
“The straights are longer there, so you can refresh yourself a little more there,” the Spaniard refers to the more than one kilometer long start-finish straight, on which speeds of over 350 km/h are reached. “And in Germany it was super hot. And because of the short straights, that was a problem, especially for Stefan.”
Marquez suspects that it has to do with the equipment: “It’s also because of the boots and stuff.” The Repsol duo Pol Espargaro and Stefan Bradl actually ride in dark boots, which because of their color absorb the heat better than Marquez’s blue boots. In theory at least, because this thesis has now been refuted.
Marquez tries his hand at optimism
“But we have to work on that, otherwise nobody has this problem,” said the Spaniard. The heat issue at Sachsenring was the icing on the cake of a disastrous first half of the season for Honda. The Japanese motorcycle giant is last in the Constructors’ Championship, while the Repsol works team and LCR are in P9 and P10 in the Team Championship.
Honda riders have only clinched a single podium finish in the 2022 MotoGP season, clinched by Espargaro at the opening race in Qatar. In the drivers’ championship, the best Honda driver, the injured superstar Marc Marquez, is 13th.
Brother Álex tries to be optimistic: “We still have half a season ahead of us to believe in ourselves and get good results. We are the first who want to get good results, like me in 2020. But the situation is not easy. We’ll see how the situation looks after the summer break and if we can improve it.”