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It was a difficult day for Repsol Honda on Sunday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The undefeated Circuit of the Americas King Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) crashed out of the lead and lost his crown, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo suffering more bad luck after experiencing his second mechanical problem of the weekend.
What happened to the King of COTA?
The five-time World Champion’s chain unhinged in Q2 - the same thing that happened to Marquez in Argentina GP Free Practice - and when the number 99 pulled off to the side of Turn 12 on Lap 11, initial thoughts were it could have been third time unlucky for Repsol Honda. But, according to Team Manager Alberto Puig, the problem was something else that Honda is unable to fully identify.
“The balance is clear and it’s not good because we got 0 points,” began Puig. “But on the other hand Marc was two-steps ahead when he was on track, this is what gives us the will to continue working with full motivation and high hopes. At this moment we don’t know what happened with Lorenzo’s bike, we are investigating and we need some time to understand what the problem was.
FREE: Lorenzo dumps his broken Honda in qualifying!
“The strategy for Marc was start and go, it was what was happening but unfortunately Marc lost the front,” continued the Spaniard, with Marquez’ crash occurring at the same corner Lorenzo retired at.
“But the strategy was the same as in Argentina, but these things happen – this is racing. Jorge’s target was the top ten, but in the first two laps he was not super fast. But once he stabilised he kept his rhythm well and was moving ahead in the classifications, but then he had the problem that we still don’t know about fully.”
Despite the disappointment, Puig is leaving Austin in positive spirits: “The positive points are that Marc isn’t injured. Marc is stronger than ever and he showed it in the last two races. And the negatives are obviously that we have 0 points in Austin… A black day is always followed by a sunny day, so the canopy must be ready for black days and sunny days.”
Jerez is next up for Marquez and Lorenzo. A repeat of last year will do nicely for the reigning World Champion, better luck will hopefully come the number 99’s way.
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