That Honda does not want to sign another campaign like 2020 and is doing everything it can to correct that mistake has been made clear by all the work that its tester Stefan Bradl has been doing during this long winter hiatus. Honda has had its test team in Europe working at full capacity, apart from the work they do in Japan. Neither Yamaha nor Suzuki have moved European parts this winter and to a lesser extent than Honda Ducati with Pirro and KTM with Pedrosa.
The brand and the most successful team of the MotoGP era were left on only two podiums, also contributed by their rookie Àlex Márquez, the top-10 in the Nakagami table was the best result and they were 5th in constructors and 8th LCR and 9th Repsol Honda by teams. The excessive dependence on their leader since 2013 Marc Márquez was shown, who fell in the first race and in dry dock for the rest of the season and who will also miss the entire pre-season of tests scheduled in Losail.
“This Covid disaster has had a great impact on us. From this negative starting point, a lot happened, the results weren’t so good, and Marc got injured, a lot happened. But for us there were also many positives. We were able to learn many, many things. How to react to these kinds of situations and also, we were able to learn a lot from a technical point of view. So for us, we learned a lot for the future and now we are focused on seeing the 2021 season, preparing the best bike for the 2021 World Championship and trying to get back to our positions as in the past, ”says Tetsuhiro Kuwata, the director of HRC.
With the development of the frozen engine for 2021 they have to focus on improving in other areas that are exempt from the ban. “This is quite a challenge for us. Normally we can develop the engine every year, but with this special regulation we cannot develop the engines for next year. We are focusing on other areas; We can still develop some areas around the engine, such as the exhaust. We will try to improve those areas and also in the chassis we can modify many things. This year we have learned a lot from our riders and we try to keep improving our weaknesses. In the end, it’s not a big change in our approach, as we just stopped developing the engine. ”
And that’s where your tester’s piecework has come in. Stefan bradl, the man who more than earned his salary in 2020 by having to combine his usual task of testing with that of replacing Marc Márquez as a Repsol Honda rider in the GGPP. If the official riders are exempt from working with the MotoGP in winter, the same does not happen with the testerss that they can continue with their work on the tracks assigned to them and thus the German has almost set the Jerez circuit as a second residence for the tests he has been doing this winter to discard pieces and facilitate the work of his pilots for the Losail tests where he will not only work the days assigned as a tester but will again cover the loss of Marc Márquez.
And his rivals in the championship are already beginning to glimpse that Honda will once again be the strong rival of always this 2021. “Looking at the final part of the season and this preseason Honda is really determined to make this step forward, many tests something unusual for a Japanese factory and I am proud because we were pioneers putting Guintoli on the track in June without Japanese. Now Honda has been in Jerez with its test team without Japanese, a European test team we could say ”, explains Alex Rins’ Suzuki technician, Manu Cazeaux.