Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 278: Portimão MotoGP - Quartararo Masters The Yamaha, While Honda Struggles

In the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, and David Emmett report back from Portimão. Fabio Quartararo's imperious victory gave us much food for thought, and we kick off with a discussion of why it is only the Frenchman who seems able to make the Yamaha work, taking a deep dive into Quartararo's complaints vs Morbidelli and Dovizioso's demands for more rear grip. And we ask whether Yamaha have any choice other than to pay Quartararo what he wants.

From there, we discuss likely and unlikely title candidates. Is Enea Bastianini still a title candidate after his crash in Portimão? Should we take Aleix Espargaro seriously? Has Alex Rins really turned his troubles from last year around? Or will it be Quartararo vs Bagnaia again like last year.

We then move on to a discussion of Honda, and how it seems like they are in deep trouble once again. Has the lack of front-end feel killed Marc Marquez' ability to exploit the turning ability of the bike? Why didn't these issues emerge in testing? And can they improve the bike before the end of the season? We wrap up as always with our winners and losers, and take a quick look ahead to Jerez.

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Re Marc and this Honda, there is a difference between front end feel and front end stability. He is really odd in smashing the shite out of the front to pivot around the front via a skating drift into the apex. THAT bike didn't offer more conventional riding front end feel! And is that really a good bike for Marc when it is inherently a skittle crusher? 

Don't give him that bike. Support him to ride this bike. And, oddly, Marc at Portimao looking like any other rider and finishing? Perhaps that could be seen as a positive. 

Pol is my measure of this bike. It needs sorting. 

I think that way of riding is possibly the best way to extract time from a bike where the big quality of that bike is the ability to do anything anywhere with the front sticking until the end. Think of Marc in battle, he put the bike anywhere and everywhere with confidence. In changing mixed conditions, work with the front and manage the rear. The FP crashes, figure out where the front lives and dies. With that bike the result will be a quick time. I think he has evolved over time to a more balanced position but the starting point for work is the front, handling the rear was never an issue no matter how bad.