Honda’s nightmare start worsens: “The best thing we can do is…”

“I have never had this feeling with the chattering on the bike"

Luca Marini, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April
Luca Marini, MotoGP, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April

Only one Honda managed to finish the Americas MotoGP sprint race, and it crossed the finish line in last place.

Luca Marini at least battling on until the end was scant consolation for the Japanese manufacturer whose disastrous run of form shows little sign of ending.

In Texas, Repsol Honda’s Marini was dealt a brand-new problem to contend with - major chattering from his RC213V.

“It was a complicated race for us,” Marini said.

“I have never had this feeling with the chattering on the bike but I think the team and I can fix it for [Sunday].

“In the position we are in, the best thing we can do is keep trying different settings and making the most of the track time.

“Now we will work again with the team to understand what we can do on Sunday and also how we can work on the development in the coming weeks.”

Marini eventually finished in 17th.

Teammate Joan Mir fared even worse, after a big collision in the early stages of the sprint.

He initially stayed upright but, due to the damage, later crashed out.

“I made quite a good start but then I suffered a big contact with another rider and all of the wings and fairing on the left side of the bike was damaged,” Mir said.

“It was very hard to control in the change of direction and in braking and finally I fell.

“I am OK and we will be able to go again [on Sunday].

“It’s clear there is still a lot to do, so we need to keep our head down and do the work in front of us.”

LCR Honda pair Johann Zarco and Takaaki Nakagami also crashed out of the sprint.

Honda have suffered an incredibly bleak weekend in Texas.

On Friday in practice, their four bikes were the four slowest on the timesheet.

Then in qualifying, all four bikes were again at the back of the grid.

It means Zarco starts the grand prix from 17th on the grid, Mir 18th, Nakagami 19th and Marini 20th.

Marini, Honda’s recruit to replace Marc Marquez, is now one of just two riders in MotoGP without a single point after five races across two-and-a-half rounds.

But, for now, Honda will be hoping that his developmental and analytical approach - a key reason for bringing him in - will aid them in improving the RC213V’s competitiveness.

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