Honda “needs to follow” Marquez on bike development – Espargaro

© Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

These comments come after HRC team boss Alberto Puig told Motorsport.com that Honda will not alter its bike development philosophy simply because of the serious arm injury Marquez suffered in 2020.

Puig made these comments in response to criticism that Honda over the years has put too much emphasis on building a bike just for Marquez at the expense of a more user-friendly package for its other riders.

This is down to the results in recent times, with Marquez currently the top Honda runner in 10th in the standings and already matching HRC’s total of two podiums from 2020 despite missing the opening two rounds of the current campaign.

But Marquez has also found the going tough this year, tallying up the most crashes of anyone with 18 – something that comes largely from the physical limitations he is battling with, but does also stem from the 2021 Honda’s lack of rear grip.

Despite this, Espargaro – who has struggled to adapt to the Honda in 2021 – says Honda must continue to follow Marquez’s guidance when it comes to bike development.

“Well, at the end the fastest guy is Marc, so the factory needs to follow what Marc says,” Espargaro noted when asked by Motorsport.com if he felt Puig’s comments were correct.

“This is easy and the most obvious thing the factory needs to do – follow the fast guy.

“The factory cannot follow [the words] of the slower guys in the factory, this would be a huge problem.

“And the natural thing is to follow what Marc says, who is the fastest, and I think it’s intelligent.”

Espargaro went on to praise Honda for the work it is currently putting in to improve the bike, and points out that the COVID-forced restrictions on engine development have been a limiting factor for HRC this year.

“And then about the philosophy of the factory, I don’t know,” he added. “Actually, Honda is working for the the future, for next year’s bike.

“I don’t know if we’re going to try on the test here [next week] something new or from this current bike we are using, or maybe something from the next year.

“I have no idea, but I know they are working and with this COVID ban they have a lot things to try, talking about the engines and the COVID restrictions [which meant] we couldn’t use [a new engine] this year. So, we will see.”

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