Honda remains in second-to-last place in the constructors’ standings, trailing only Yamaha. Both teams managed to accumulate a mere three points during the recent British Grand Prix weekend.
HRC achieved a win in 2023 thanks to Alex Rins at the Americas GP, but this outcome has been unique so far. The way Rins rides has concealed the problems of the RC213Vs on the COTA track.
Rins has recently joined Yamaha for the 2024 season after feeling that Honda did not make the most of his abilities. Meanwhile, the factory team duo of Marc Marquez and Joan Mir have only accumulated a total of 20 points due to injuries throughout the campaign.
Since 2022, HRC, the racing division, has been responsible for overseeing Honda’s involvement in both two-wheel and four-wheel activities. This includes supplying engines to the Red Bull and AlphaTauri Formula 1 teams.
Watanabe mentioned in a recent interview that the integration of the four-wheel side has advanced to a stage where it will collaborate with the MotoGP team to enhance its performance.
Watanabe initiated by stating that the cultures within Honda for two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles are notably distinct.
Hence, we began with the recognition that collaborating as a company might pose certain difficulties.
Actually, the integration process took a whole year to accomplish due to numerous differences in aspects like operations, structure, purchasing systems, and so on.
We are starting to see improvements in the partnership between the two-wheel and four-wheel categories during the second year.
Currently, the lack of progress in MotoGP poses a significant concern for Honda/HRC. Therefore, we have decided to revitalize our capabilities by adopting a comprehensive HRC-based framework.
Koji Watanabe, Honda Racing CEO
Photo by: Motorsport.com / Japan
The team responsible for four-wheel development is actively participating in the development of MotoGP and striving to achieve concrete outcomes at the earliest opportunity.
Watanabe mentioned that the approach used by HRC’s two-wheel sector is now influencing their four-wheel division, and he anticipates that this will result in an outcome surpassing their initial expectations.
“He added that Two-wheel has a rich racing heritage, giving them extensive knowledge and experience in races and race operations.”
“Two-wheel also has established a business model where HRC makes race parts and delivers them via dealers for users. The four-wheel business is just beginning to develop this aspect.
“There is much to learn from motorcycles in terms of such know-how. In that sense, I am convinced that the collaboration between motorcycles and automobiles will produce something even greater than we initially expected.”
There is speculation that Marquez may leave Honda for a KTM-supported team in 2024 due to their disappointing performance in the 2023 MotoGP season.
Marquez himself noted at the British GP that his “intention” is to see out his Honda contract, while KTM has so far been blocked from expanding into the grid slots vacated by Suzuki.
Dorna Sports is contemplating the reintroduction of concessions to support the recovery of Honda and Yamaha, who have faced challenges in 2023.