The Repsol Honda team manager talks about lessons learned in 2020 and goals for the upcoming year
First the pandemic delayed the start of the 2020 championship and then, when it did finally get underway, the factory Honda team suffered a serious setback with Marc Marquez’s injury. Mismanagement of the situation plus Marc’s overly hasty return to the track resulted in the Spaniard missing the rest of the season and it’s still unclear when he will be able to return.
Manager Alberto Puig admits: “We learn every day, not only from 2020. We’ve learned that things can happen, but the situation was particularly complicated due to the pandemic, which has changed our lives”. The situation on track was far from easy and Honda failed to win even one of the 14 races: “It was a bad start for the Repsol Honda team, we lost our champion for the entire year. You have to react. When you have a problem in life, this becomes an opportunity to learn, so we think we’ve learned from what happened and will demonstrate this in the future”.
It’s now time to turn things around, although it is still unknown when Marc Marquez will be back on board. Puig comments: “The Honda expectation is always to try and win the title and do as well as possible. This is in the DNA of the company and we want to live up to that”. The Japanese manufacturer wants to be back on top of the world at any cost: “We know we have rivals, and they all want the same thing, but we’re focusing on winning the title, improving our bike and being stronger in our work each day”.
Puig still has high hopes for the 28-year old Spaniard, despite his lengthy absence from the track: “Marc’s injury wasn’t big, but it’s kept him away from racing for a long time. This cannot change what he is though, by which I mean a real champion. I don’t know if he’ll be different, but he’ll find a way to still be the Marc Marquez we know. Only he can do that, though the team will support him 100% as always. What counts is what he expects of himself and what he thinks he needs to do to come back and demonstrate his full potential”.
Translated by Heather Watson