21 Apr, 2017
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MotoGP Americas:'We are just greedy!' - Honda riders push braking limit

"This is our biggest ammunition so we take more and more every time. We are just greedy!" - Cal Crutchlow.

MotoGP Americas:'We are just greedy!' - Honda riders push braking limit
MotoGP Americas:'We are just greedy!' - Honda riders push braking limit
Honda riders losing the front under braking has been a regular feature of MotoGP 2017, most notably when reigning champion Marc Marquez fell from the lead last time in Argentina.

Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa then suffered the same fate, at the same turn, later in the race, while the likes of Cal Crutchlow (LCR) and Jack Miller (Marc VDS) saved similar scares.

"The thing is that we take the risk in the point where we don't have any [electronic] control. That is the brake point," Marquez explained. "So for that reason maybe, Honda riders have crashed many times at this part of the season. But okay, also last year was like this."

Honda riders feel compelled to take such risks in order to exploit the RC213V's biggest strength and help compensate for a lack of acceleration out of the turns.

But in the words of Crutchlow, who fell in Qatar but claimed Honda's first podium of the season in Argentina, they eventually get too 'greedy'.

"The reason for the crashes is we are taking advantage of our best ammunition, which is our braking. But we take it past the limit," said the Englishman. "We know over the years the Honda has been so strong in the braking zone. This is our biggest ammunition so we take more and more every time. We are just greedy!

"So we'll try and adapt, along with our team and mechanics, and hopefully in the coming races it will be a bit easier once we get a better base setting."

Marquez also felt the lack of a base setting for the new big-bang powered RC213V is a factor.

"One of the things is that from one circuit to the other - Qatar to Argentina in this case - we changed a lot the set-up. And when you change the set-up, okay you are looking always at the best lap time, but also the feeling of the limit changed a little bit and is more difficult to find. But Honda is working really hard and we will arrive soon."

Another concern for this weekend is the time it will take to find a set-up at a track where, as in Argentina, no pre-season testing has been held.

"Out pre-season was strong but we had many hours to set bike up at each test," Marquez said. "In the race weekend it is different, but we are quite close. I mean, I crashed in Argentina but I was leading the race by two seconds."

"As Marc said, at the test we are probably stronger than at the race because we have the time to be able to adjust," Crutchlow added. "Argentina, like here, is a new circuit with this new configuration engine. But Honda and my team are working very hard to help us as riders understand the bike, to be able to ride in the best way.

By Peter McLaren

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  • ciku 21 Apr, 2017 01:35:28
    3 years of struggling? if they don't have Marquez on their ranks they'd screwed a lot far more than this..
  • Don-R 21 Apr, 2017 09:59:37
    I think part of Honda's problem is ironically Marquez himself, who - like Stoner on the Ducati - has managed to mask some of the bike's deficiencies. His extraordinary abilities, along with the fact that the Honda benefits more from cold or mixed conditions, has saved the last season or two for Honda.

    But if you look at Pedrosa as a more long-term benchmark for Honda, he's clearly struggling more than we've seen in past seasons to find a competitive pace in qualifying and races. And the satellite guys are finding it tough too.

    It's hard to believe that such a well funded and large factory effort can continue to be confounded by the challenge of making their engine work well with the unified electronics software package, but it seems they're currently no closer to a solution.
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