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    The Max Verstappen and Marc Marquez issue

    Comparing the problems Red bull and Repsol Honda are having in their other seats.

    5w ago


    MotoGP and Formula 1 are as far as you can get in the racing spectrum. One is an open wheel racing series and the other is a motor bike championship. And both are the kings in their own rights.

    Yet, there are some parallels to compare, such as the young drivers and riders who are promised to be future champions and have become champions. On the F1 side, the young gun everyone is talking about is Max Verstappen, while he does seem like an veteran to F1 fans who have been watching the sport for a while, he is only 23, and all he needs to fight for the championship is a more capable machinery. Marc Marquez on the other hand, is a champion, taking the title on his debut season in the championship and is the reigning MotoGP champion.

    However, while it is champagne and trophies on their side of the garage, their teammates are not so fortunate, with Alex Ablon taking only one podium so far this season, and Alex Marquez taking 2.

    This highlights a large problem in these teams, the dependency on one driver. Sure we have seen dominant championships taken by one driver while their teammate was an afterthought, however, Marc Marquez’s 2019 campaign showed how much of an afterthought someone’s teammate can be. Not to say that Honda forgot about Jorge Lorenzo, but that the bike was built around Marquez so much, that Lorenzo struggled to break into the top ten even once that season. However, let’s not forget the injuries that plagued Lorenzo as well.

    In an interview, fellow Honda team mate Cal Crutchlow said: ” Marc knows no one else can ride the Honda… Of course, he always wants to improve the bike, but he's happy with what he's got, because he's the fastest and most competitive with it”

    This dependency can be seen in Honda’s 2020 campaign where without M.Marquez, the team and Manufacturer are nowhere in the Championship. All their other riders cannot get the most out of their Honda.

    A similar situation is occurring in F1 where Red bull have a car that only Max Verstappen can get the most out of. The proof is in the sister Red Bull which in 2 seasons, has only taken 1 podium compared to the 17 so far, of Max Verstappen. This begs the question, what is going on? Well as aforementioned, the team and machinery are focused around Max Verstappen, which makes the job of less experienced drivers such as Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly, that much more challenging.

    It seems as if finally, Honda have been able to cater for their other riders, backed up by the fact that Alex Marquez scored 2 consecutive podiums in the last two races and Cal Crutchlow’s brilliant qualifying performances in those two rounds. However, Alex Albon hasn’t had the same turn around in F1 (have you realised yet that both these teams are factory Honda teams?). When Albon scored his maiden podium in Mugello, we all thought that this would be a turn around, he has got confidence back and he can surely use that momentum to his advantage, however it’s been a full 360 as he scored 0 points in the following two rounds.

    To sum up then, these 2 contrasting examples show the dependency that can be created on a driver/rider when a team places their eggs in one basket. Marc Marquez’s absence shows how a problem can be created when the person your machinery is built around is absent.

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    Comments (6)

    • Up until this point I've had the same worries for HRC: if they've become so dependent on one weapon, the team may not function as well without that. I guess they still have that problem with Alex -- he still isn't pulling everyone else out along with, meaning the carry falls flat.

      The good news is that LCR, the satellite team, has enough talent worth investing into, but Honda knows it can't rely on at most two riders when Yamaha and KTM can field four podium-capable riders. Even Suzuki can bag two Top 3 places and they don't have a satellite team (yet). Honda has to be decisive next year and swallow a hard pill: punt Pol to make room for an all-Marquez Repsol team.

        1 month ago
    • Alex believes now. Fastest in FP1, and would have gone fastest in FP2 had Zarco not been dawdling on the racing line. He’s looking fantastic

        1 month ago
    • "(have you realised yet that both these teams are factory Honda teams?)."

      Actually only 1 is a Honda factory team. Red Bull only sources their engines from Honda, Honda has nothing to do with the design of the Red Bull cars.

        1 month ago
    • Marquez is so far ahead of almost anyone else in the current field that comparative assessments are hard to make. His ability to thrive on the very edge of disaster is almost supernatural - check out some of his saves for proof of that (www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXQcX7xzdxY). Nobody else can consistently step over the line and still pull it back like he can. Is the Honda really built around him, or is it that only someone with his skill set can get the best from it? I suspect more likely the latter. Same was true of Casey Stoner and his ability to win on a Ducati that nobody else could make work for them. MotoGP has always been more about the rider than the machinery.

        1 month ago
      • 100% agree. Marquez's riding ability is second to non and Casey Stoner was so underappreciated and that was one of the reasons he retired. In MotoGP, the rider plays a much larger part of the pie than in F1. However, I needed some medium to...

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          1 month ago


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