Honda boss reveals a major team restructure ahead of 2024 MotoGP

Honda boss reveals a major team restructure ahead of 2024 MotoGP

Honda team manager Alberto Puig revealed a major team restructure is in the works ahead of 2024 as the manufacturer finished last in the 2023 MotoGP Constructors’ Championship.

Repsol Honda had their worst season ever in 2023 as Joan Mir and Marc Márquez finished outside the top 10 in the MotoGP World Championship with both factory riders leading the crash tally. 

Alex Rins (LCR Castrol) at least kept Honda from going winless for another year with his victory in Austin but generally the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world’s MotoGP season balance sheet is not encouraging.

Although Honda team manager Alberto Puig is open about it, future changes might come about.

“It is obvious that the conclusion cannot be very good,” said Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig in a review with Motogp.com. “We didn’t have a memorable year, we never found our way.

“We couldn’t really make the step that is necessary in the class nowadays because our opponents made a really big step.

“Even if we make steps and try to understand our weaknesses – because we are working hard on that in Japan – we couldn’t reach our goal. The competitiveness of the bike is not there and we know that.”

According to Puig, after another season below expectations, Honda is undergoing a restructuring.

“The will to change and take a different approach is there,” he said. “In Japan, we are restructuring, not just the people but also the approach to developing the bike.”

The results for the 2023 season speak for themselves: Honda placed fifth and last in the Constructors’ Championship. Meanwhile Marc Márquez, who left the team for Gresini-Ducati for the reason that the eight-time world champion wants to finally enjoy riding a bike again and try to regain his old strength, finished 14th in the Riders’ Championship in his final year on the RC213V despite injury breaks and was still the best Honda rider.

For the longstanding Honda star, 2023 was a year of few highlights albeit one that included a melancholic third place in the rainy Motegi Japan GP.

His Repsol teammate Joan Mir collected a meager 26 points in his first campaign on the rowdy RC213V but had a lot of crashes—24, to be exact. Only Marc overtook the Mallorcan in the crash king rankings with 29 crashes.

“We started well, with Marc taking pole position in Portugal,” said Puig, recalling the season opener in March. “Then came the crash and the injury to his thumb.

“That wasn’t the right start and it was followed by major difficulties with the bike.

“We believe that Marc’s level is much higher than what he showed. But for many reasons it didn’t work out.

“It’s not nice to see a champion in such a situation and with such results. But that’s what happened and now we’ll see.”

“At the same time, Joan tried to understand the bike, with ups and downs, even if it has to be said that there were more downs,” the team manager admitted frankly.

“In India we had results that were okay, and luckily for the fans Marc made the podium in Japan. But from the Repsol Honda Team’s point of view, it was not a good year for us.”

Recent arrival Luca Marini is expected to race alongside Joan Mir in 2024. On his first day of work on the 2024 RC213V prototype in the Valencia test, the Italian finished 10th while Mir noted that this was the first time in his Honda career that he had seen noticeable improvements.

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