Ex-HRC boss Livio Suppo has launched a targeted attack on the structure of his former Honda MotoGP team, suggesting that Alberto Puig would have since been fired from his role if it were football, while in the past Honda would not have Pol Espargaro allowed to make certain statements about the development.
Suppo led Honda until 2018 and led it through its most successful time in MotoGP with the multiple winning combination of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner.
Since then, Alberto Puig has taken the reins in hand, although Suppo – who was toying with the idea of returning to MotoGP with Suzuki this year – was open about his successor’s modest results.
Although Honda won the MotoGP title at a gallop with Marquez in 2019, his injury combined with a loss of developmental focus – increasingly attributed to Pedrosa’s departure and increased focus on Marquez’s special needs – resulted in a dismal 2020 season.
On the subject of matching items
While Honda bounced back with a race win in 2021, the quartet of Marquez, new signing Espargaro and LCR drivers Takaaki Nakagami and Alex Marquez in general are struggling to make a big impression.
It’s a situation that Suppo comments on in an interview with Speedweek where he says the team made a mistake by focusing too quickly on Marquez.
Additionally, Suppo believes Honda doesn’t need to tune the RC213V that much to Marquez as his sheer talent on a well-balanced motorcycle that others could ride would be enough to prevail.
“In football there would have been personnel changes at the top of the club. Not now, because Marc won, but before.
“Dani Pedrosa already had problems with the motorcycle in 2017 and 2018. That was a signal that development is only going in the direction Marc can cope with. I also experienced that at Ducati with Casey Stoner.
“It was a similar situation and I know very well that even a champion will have problems if things don’t go in the right direction. “
“A well-balanced machine would have been an advantage for Marc. He has captured a lot with his talent. “
Suppo criticizes Pol Espargaro for comments on MotoGP
While Puig doesn’t escape the wrath of Suppo, it was Pol Espargaro who is most embarrassed by the former HRC chief.
After the Spanish MotoGP, Espargaro let it pass that Honda was trying different packages to find a direction, the former KTM rider commented: “I’m just an employee and I’ll do what you want, different packages … and let’s see which one was better. ” (CLICK HERE for the full article)
It is words that shocked Suppo, who says that the company’s founder, Sochiro Honda, who died in 1991, immediately fired Espargaro for making such comments.
“I think that’s outrageous. I think founder Soichiro Honda would have fired him for making such a statement. But that says a lot about the situation. It’s not the first time he’s said something strange. “
Heading into the second half of the MotoGP 2021 season, Marquez is the top-ranked Honda rider in 10th, Nakagami 11th, Espargaro 12th and Alex Marquez 15th.