Honda ‘have put more resources’ into 2024 bike, Marini ‘very methodical’

Alberto Puig says Honda are making a huge effort to try and close the gap to their MotoGP rivals.

Luca Marini, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February
Luca Marini, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February

After several disappointing MotoGP seasons, the HRC Team Manager is convinced that Honda is heading in the right direction.

Honda’s performance, especially over one lap, was very promising at the Sepang test, as a lighter bike has been built which Puig admits was a big aim for 2024.

“We realise that we have improved our power,” Piug told “The bike is much lighter which was one of our targets and also the connection from the engine is improved.

“The steps we have made are positive. We think we know where we have to improve because in the long runs we’re not as strong as one lap.

“This is probably where we have to work on and our main target for the next test. 

“In terms of performance the bike is faster and now we have to make the bike more stable in the race.”

As part of their efforts to be more competitive in 2024, Puig says the ‘connection’ between the factory team and LCR is stronger.

Part of that is because LCR Honda also has a new rider in the form of Johann Zarco, but also because of the new concession rules which will allow Honda more testing time than most of its competitors.

Puig added: “We always work together with the LCR team. The connection is probably bigger this year and there’s more people involved.

“We put in more resources and we have to utalise the concession as much as possible. If you have an experienced rider like Johann it is good to try and give him some support. 

“It’s not easy to have all the equipment for all the riders but HRC is making a big effort. Let’s see if we can gain some benefit.”

Like Zarco, Luca Marini joined Honda from Ducati which means he’s leaving behind the best bike on the grid.

As a result, information fed back to the team from the likes of Marini and Zarco is vital to helping the RC213V be on par with Ducati’s latest machines.

Discussing Marini’s impact, Puig said: “Professional would not be the word. He is very methodical and is a guy who doesn’t want to leave anything for later.

“He wants to point out everything he feels and his comments are very clear. He has a good understanding of the bike even though it's his first timeriding the bike. 

“He comes from a bike with a very high performance and now he is understanding this machine and has adapted very well to the team.”

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