Without respite, just five days after the Italian Grand Prix races took place, the Motorcycle World Championship returned to action, although with the significant good news of the presence of spectators in the stands of the Circuit de Montmeló, few, a few 3,200, although enough to break the dynamic started in 2020 in the absence of fans, in what is an appetizer of the more than 20,000 that are expected to be able to witness the races this Sunday. In fact, it is the first Spanish circuit that will host the public, after the experiences in the past year in Misano (Italy) and in Le Mans (France), something that for now is scheduled to repeat in the Netherlands the last weekend of June, and already in August in Austria. The gradual return to normality. Normality that in the sports part once again taught the power of the Ducati to one lap.
And it is that until the last ten minutes of the session the Yamaha were occupying the head, especially that of Franco Morbidelli, probably the most solid on Friday, but also those of the leader Fabio Quartararo and that of Maverick Viñales, the Suzuki of Joan Mir , the KTM of Miguel Oliveira, another who did a great job in key race, and even the Honda of Marc Márquez and Pol Espargaró. Until Johann Zarco burst in with new tires, putting the Ducati at the top of the table, in a group of the top ten (those that would provisionally be in Q2) in which Pecco Bagnaia, Jack Miller and rookie Enea sneaked in. Bastianini, and from which pilots such as Oliveira, Márquez and Mir disappeared. The Repsol Honda driver finished in 15th place, with the title champion one place behind.
“I felt fine, but it is true that the result does not say so,” acknowledged Mir, who will not have the information from his teammate, Alex Rins, who operated on this Friday for the radio fracture he suffered this Thursday in an accident by bicycle when he was training on the same asphalt of the Catalan track. “If you have a problem at the end with the tire with which everyone goes down a second, then it is clear that you are going to be behind. With used tires I think we are one of the strongest, we are not bad at all, but it is true that you have to see the problem that has happened so that it does not happen tomorrow, it is important. We usually suffer with new tires, and on top of that we have an extra problem in this case… ». A problem that his team will have to solve for this Saturday morning, for the third free training session, where it will be definitively elucidated who are the top ten who will save the Q1 repechage process.
As for Márquez, Honda once again showed his problems one lap, saved on the first day of the grand prix by Pol Espargaró by the hair, with a tenth place, a situation, that of the Japanese motorcycle, which comes from 2020 and the one from Cervera has encountered since his reappearance. “It is clear that we are in a critical situation and that I am not in the best personal and professional situation to help them right now,” Márquez accepted.
“If I were in top shape, you could fight for podiums and victories, but it would cost a lot more than in 2019. It would be difficult and that is where we are working. It is clear that all Honda riders are suffering, but we are all working. We are a team, for good and for bad. Now it’s time to get the best out of each rider and the best of Honda. Honda is Honda, I trust them and surely we are going to turn the situation around, because out of desire and determination it will not be possible ». And is that the physical part is still a drag for Márquez a month and a half after returning to action. «Imagine if it is hard to see me so it is also hard for me … In the end it is understanding and not getting excited about fictitious things, but being realistic and that will not lead to frustration. They are easy things to say and difficult to do. A footballer can put on his boots, catch a ball and tap for normal training. For us, the only chance there is to ride a MotoGP is to do it at a grand prix, with cameras and in competition. We have to accept it, because we believe that it is the best option to get to the level where we left it. This process has to happen and I hope it happens as soon as possible, but it is clear that it is hard. It’s hard, but I have to accept it, ”Márquez resigned.