Marc Marquez has urged Honda to bring “more” to its 2023-specification RC213-V MotoGP machine having been left underwhelmed by the bike in Tuesday’s post-season Valencia test.
The Spaniard was keen to get stick into the upgrades the Japanese manufacturer had brought for its prototype following a tough 2022 campaign that saw it score just two rostrum finishes all year, a third for Pol Espargaro in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix as well as a runners-up result for Marquez in the Australian GP.
Marquez managed to end the year as the highest Honda rider in the championship – despite missing a total of eight races through injury – though a lowly 13th overall with 113 points, the six-time premier class champion a full 57 markers clear of next best-placed Honda pilot Espargaro.
The 59-time premier class race winner revealed following the single-day test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit that he was “expecting more” from the upgrades Honda had brought, with the RC213-V feeling “similar” to the problematic ’22 edition – leading Marquez to insist that the marque needed to bring “a bigger step if we want any chance of fighting for the title” next year.
“It was an important day, I didn’t do a lot of laps because I tried what I needed to there was no sense to keep going, I expected more from the test but there was some interesting information,” explained Marquez.
“It was good to have the Japanese mechanics in the box, but we need more if we are to fight for a championship, definitely one or two more steps needed for the February test in Malaysia.
“There were a lot of changes (between 2022 and 2023 RC213-V) but not so big (a difference), the character of the bike was very similar and the problems we had were still there, even the laptime was very similar.
“There were some positives and some negatives and the way to ride was a little different, but the performance was very similar.”
Despite noting the similarities in the overall performance between the ’22 and ’23 spec machines, Marquez says that “small steps” were made with some of the former bike’s ailments, though warned that the winter would prove “crucial” for Honda to bring further improvement in order to prevent a repeat of its dreadful ’22 term.
“We made a step in some ways with some of the problems we have, some things were working better but it was only a small one,” continued Marquez.
“Now we need a bigger step if we want any chance of fighting for the title so now I will work hard on myself over the winter to be at 100%, and Honda need to work if we can fight together.
“This is a crucial winter for Honda but we cannot accept having another 2022 season, we must have a competitive package because we are the Repsol Honda team.”
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