Honda’s Nakamoto reviews seasons so far for Pedrosa and Marquez

Nakamoto interview
Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Shuhei Nakamoto, the Executive Vice President of HRC, has spoken to motogp.com about rider performances so far in 2013. He also confirms that an early version of next year’s machine will be used this season, should Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez be happy with it.

During the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend, which marked the halfway point of the 2013 campaign, the HRC boss gave his overview of the season to date in terms of rider and team results.

"We are happy," Nakamoto says at Laguna Seca. "Both of our riders have done a very good job; we are leading the riders’ and the constructors’ standings, but the gap between Yamaha and us is quite small. We are trying very, very hard to win the championship, not only at the circuit but also in Japan. I am very happy."

To date, Marquez has won three races and Pedrosa has two victories to his name this year. Assessing both factory Honda riders individually, Nakamoto continues:

"I am quite impressed by what Marc has done; he is growing a lot and it is much more than I expected. Especially in the second half of last year, Dani was very, very strong. Looking at general characteristics, the Yamaha is strong on some circuits and the Honda is strong on others. In the second half of the season, Dani likes the characteristics of the circuits and they suit both him and the Honda package. We hope and expect Dani to be strong again, like last year."

While testing at MotorLand Aragon in the week that followed the Catalan Grand Prix, a 2014-specification Honda was rolled out and it could make a race debut this year.

"Yes," Nakamoto confirms. "We tested in Aragon. Both riders found positive and negative points. We are now making the next step and we will be able to test again after Misano [post-race test, mid-September]. If the riders are happy, we will start to use (the 2014 machine)."

Repsol Honda have now won the last three races at Laguna Seca, with Casey Stoner having taken the chequered flag in both 2011 and 2012, followed by Marquez’ triumph on Sunday.

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