Pol Espargaro doesn’t think Honda is reacting to MotoGP woes

Honda has come into the 2022 MotoGP season with a radically revised bike aimed at addressing the rear grip issues it has faced in recent years, with the package receiving praise from its riders during pre-season.

But a podium aside in the season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar, Espargaro has failed to close in on the top five all year as grip issues persist.

Ahead of the summer break, Honda boss Alberto Puig said the Japanese marque “needs to change its way of thinking” in order to get out of its woes.

But Espargaro – who is set to return to KTM with Tech3 next year after signing a two-year deal – doesn’t think the race team has much factory support in Japan to the moment.

“What bothers me is that Honda is not talking, there is no reaction,” Espargaro said after battling for 14th at the British Grand Prix.

“I don’t see Honda being very worried. I don’t know what to interpret.

“The worst part is that a builder like this doesn’t show his muscles.

“Five years ago, it seemed unthinkable that the Japanese brands would struggle little by little, and that the Italian ones would take off.

“It was something that could not have been foreseen.

“The problem is that I have no idea what Honda is thinking; I don’t know if what is happening here is happening in Japan.

“At first glance it doesn’t look like it because we don’t get the material we need to improve the bike.”

Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose/ Motorsport footage

On the other side of the factory Honda garage, Stefan Bradl – who replaces Marc Marquez as he continues his recovery from a fourth major arm operation – says his race is having an impact on the HRC test programme.

He also suggested that Honda’s Suzuka 8 Hours endurance campaign – which he won last weekend – hasn’t helped the MotoGP team either.

“Yeah, for sure it’s a problem,” he said when asked if his race was causing problems with the test program.

“They are testing more and more in Japan. Obviously they also had to prepare for the Suzuka 8 Hours, so in the end I’m happy that they won the race.

“So maybe they have more capacity for MotoGP again and that’s good.”

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