Paul Espargaro did not get new components, however Takaaki Nakagami

( – Marc Marquez is absent from the race at home in Catalonia. The Spaniard underwent surgery on his upper right arm in the United States on Thursday. The fourth intervention was successfully implemented. On Friday afternoon, Marquez took to social media with a photo, thanking the support and writing that he feels good.

Takaaki Nakagami received the parts from Marc Marquez


In the absence of the six-time MotoGP world champion, Honda played no part in first place in Friday’s training at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. Paul Espargaro finished the day in 11th, Takaaki Nakagami 12th, Alex Marquez 18th and Stefan Bradel 23rd.

There were discussions beforehand. At Mugello, Marc Marquez had a new chassis and new swingarm at his disposal. Espargaro asked Honda if he can now try out the new parts in Barcelona. The answer was no.

“The swingarm system in particular is an improvement, even more than the chassis,” says Espargaro. Honda decided to hand over the spare parts to Taka who is also a working driver. So Honda wants to try the new developments with Nakagami and not with Espargaro.

Is this an indication that Espargaro will say goodbye to the Factory Honda team at the end of the season? “It is not in my business to ask these questions,” comments the Spaniard, who is concerned about the decision not to receive the new parts.

Paul Espargaro

Paul Espargaro was not happy with Honda’s decision Zoom

“Honda made that decision and I’m following along. I’m the jockey and I have to go as fast as I can with the bike. I try to do that every weekend. Whoever gets new material or develops the bike, that decision is up to Honda.”

“You have to ask the responsible person. This is not my job. Of course I want to have as many new developments as possible to improve the situation. Especially when the situation is not good.”

“Obviously you want to have a lot of new parts to change things up. But that didn’t happen. We have a new chassis and swingarm. ‘Taka’ will use it. That’s what it is. I’m not saying that angry, it’s a Honda decision. I accept that.” .

“This is the situation and I accept it.” Taka “He is a fast racer who is qualified to try this stuff out. He is also more connected to Honda than I am. I understand he got a chance to try out the new parts. I accept that.”

Nakagami feels no difference with the new swing arm

On his best lap, Espargaro was a few hundredths of a second faster than Nakagami. But both ended up outside the top ten. Nakagami noticed after training day that the new parts don’t actually represent any significant progress.

“One of the motorcycles is standard, the other has new parts,” say the Japanese. “I first rode this swingarm. It’s not much of a difference now. I was expecting a little more lateral grip – for more stability or better rotation.”

Takaaki Nakagami

Takaki Nakagami doesn’t have a contract for next year either Zoom

“The swingarm is not negative, but I can’t say there is a lot of potential. The braking performance is a little different because the swingarm is a bit stronger, which makes handling more difficult. And that’s a little negative thing.”

“Other than that, I don’t really feel any difference. I can’t yet decide which weapon to continue working with. The confidence on the bike isn’t perfect. Our weakness lies from the top to the corner exit.”

“There is a lack of rear stability, but that’s the main problem on this track every year,” Nakagami mentions the same side as many drivers. “This time is no different. We need to analyze the data to see if we go ahead with the new swingarm. I’m not sure.”

Espargaro: It goes well on a cold morning

Low grip and tire management are the standards for all Barcelona brands. But Espargaro said after Friday: “There’s no grip, but I felt bad elsewhere. With the race tyres, I drove the third fastest on a hot afternoon.”

Paul Espargaro

Cold morning helps Honda drivers Zoom

“When everyone took the soft tire, we saw reality again. It’s better for us in the morning because the front tire is too soft for us. The lower temperature in the morning helps the soft front tire.”

Espargaro and Nakagami’s clear goal is to make it straight into the second quarter in third practice. Otherwise, the race will be very difficult. “We’re not allowed to start in the fourth or fifth grade. That would be too far away,” Espargaro confirms.

Test and reserve driver Bradl must complete Honda’s development program again. The German also compared two different types of chassis. In addition, he was again on the road with a different exhaust, which he already tested on the wildcard in Jerez.

Bradl also had a fall in the afternoon. “Today it was all about getting back into racing mode,” says the German. “It’s been a good day because we’ve made some progress since the morning. We’re also testing some things here. We’re working to pick up the pace. Hopefully we can make some progress tomorrow.”

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