Alberto Puig, the Repsol Honda Team Manager, expressed disappointment that the team was unable to “get the perfect set-up” at the Portuguese Grand Prix, where Marc Márquez finished sixth and Pol Espargaró ninth, and explained that they must focus on “understanding what’s going on” with the bike and why they are unable to race “with the pack.”
“It wasn’t an easy race for us.” We weren’t able to obtain the proper set-up and perhaps required more time on this circuit to acquire a better understanding of our bike. The truth is that we didn’t have enough time with steady circumstances, but that’s no excuse because other drivers and teams were faster with the same amount of time and in similar conditions,” he added in team remarks.
In this context, he urged them to “keep working and assessing the options” they have at the moment, as they prepare for the next Spanish Grand Prix. “We’re going to Jerez, a track where our drivers have a history of being quick. We must wait and see what the situation is, strive for a better race, and try to comprehend what will happen if we do not participate in the race with the group. “It’s been proven that we need to develop our bike even more,” he said.
Puig also highlighted that they chose the right tires and that the tires had nothing to do with their performance at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. “Pol Espargaró went for the hard tire, and it served him well. Marc Márquez went with the medium option. It was fine for his various riding styles, and the decision was correct,” he added.
“The good news is that we’re two points closer to the lead in the drivers’ title, but the reality is that we didn’t perform as well as we expected today.” The goal is not to be 16 seconds behind the winner. This isn’t healthy for us. He said, “and we must improve it.”