Marc Márquez seventh World Championship, clinched at the Japanese GP, was a milestone that Alberto Puig experienced for the first time in his role as Repsol Honda Team Manager. The former rider looks back on a special weekend at Honda’s home circuit of Twin Ring Motegi.
What was the strategy for the Motegi race?
Has been an amazing day. Marc rode a smart race. Win the title was not easy, but we knew it could happen. I think his strategy was correct, staying behind Dovizioso. He knew Dovi would push hard. We have to congratulate Marc, the team and all of Honda for this great achievement.
Marc is no conformist and we thought he would try to win the race. Marc has grown a lot –he is mature and he continues learning. I think he still has many things to learn and he still has another step to make. He is now at a very high level, maybe one or two steps ahead of the others. He has learnt how to regulate himself and that makes him stronger.
The positive points and negative points after the race?
All positives! We won the race and the title.
The view from pit wall during the race?
It was nice because all the big Honda bosses were there and they enjoyed winning the championship. But at the end we lived the race with the same intensity as usual, knowing that we could win the title.
The inside story apart from official comments?
Motegi is a very busy weekend for our riders and we had many activities at Honda headquarters in Tokyo, then we visited the Honda R&D centre in Utsunomiya and finally Marc celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Motegi Collection Hall with a special visit. This is the third time in five years that Marc has secured the title here, so it’s very emotional for all our Japanese fans.
The strategy for the last races?
We cannot see the future! Obviously we go to Phillip Island very motivated. This is a very difficult circuit and it won’t be easy, but the goal will be try to win the constructors title.