Repsol Honda and Marc Marquez have lead the way for the last few years to become the dominant force in MotoGP, and this year is no exception. Even triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo is yet to match the pace of Marquez with both on the same bike. As the reigning champions of MotoGP, what can you expect in MotoGP 19, should you join the Honda squad?
You would probably expect that, as you are joining the top force in MotoGP right now, you will HAVE to be going for wins and podiums. Nothing else will be good enough in the super team of the decade.
You will, of course, have Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez alongside you (MotoGP 19 adds your bike to the 22 strong field, rather than omit a fellow rider) so it will be an interesting journey for you.
Honda are having to deal with a regular thorn in their side, which is that of Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso. The ‘Bologna Bullet’ and ‘Dovi’ have been at it with Marquez and Honda for the last two years, so they will be counting on you to maintain that success.
In pre-season, you will be looking to find the perfect balance between cornering, and braking. The Honda is solid in a straight line, so ensure that you don’t lose that in whatever package you take.
The Honda is often seen as a bit of a wild thing, a bit more ragged than the Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki factory bikes. What it does offer though is superb breaking capabilities, a good top end speed and a solid platform for development. If I am trying to slipstream a Ducati on MotoGP 19, I have found that it is actually possible to do so, although it might require a bit more of a straight on occasion than being on the Ducati itself.
On tyres though, it can be a bit hit and miss. Not as hard on them as the Ducati, but still not as kind as the Suzuki and Yamaha. You may find yourself going to the harder of the compounds before your development really kicks in. No shame in that, it’s just how the bike operates.
The career mode as you will know is not quite as in-depth as that on F1 2019, or any of the Codemasters F1 games from the last three years. So don’t get too bogged down on what to develop. But spend wisely and pick what you feel is the best upgrade for your bike. It will all add up as the seasons progress. Unless you ditch Honda to go to Ducati of course.
Where doesn’t the Honda work?
Well, there aren’t many places the Honda doesn’t work! Historically Qatar has been a weak point, but even so that has now come to be less and less of an issue as the years have gone on. The Honda is a very good all-round bike so in theory you should be good wherever you take the bike. Honda has a strong satellite operation with LCR and Cal Crutchlow, so expect him to be up there fighting with you as well.
Where does the Honda work best?
Everywhere. No really, it does! Straight line speed used to be a weakness and even though it is still not on Ducati level, it is so much stronger than it was. So don’t worry about that! Perhaps the best places for the Honda are Austin, Sachsenring and Jerez where they have been the Marquez playground for the last few years, and even Dani Pedrosa won there as recently as 2017.
What you have then is perhaps the best all-round machine on the grid right now, so you will 100% have to give it everything to win races and of course the world championship. You have an arch rival in Italy’s Ducati and Dovizioso, a hungry pair of teammates and a bike that, on occasion, can be a big ragged. You will have fun that’s for sure!