Defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has identified the biggest issue Repsol Honda is facing in the 2015 MotoGP season and a majority of the problems apparently has to do with the rear tires not functioning as properly as the team would like.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race at Le Mans, Marquez admitted that issues with the bike’s relationship with the rear tire has prevented him from consistently posting fast laps to keep pace with the Yamaha and Ducati riders.

The team’s problems were also compounded by his own injury, even though he still posted an impressive second place finish at Jerez despite racing with a hand that was a week removed from surgery. To make things worse, the absence of teammate Dani Pedrosa in the last three races have kept Repsol Honda from racking up the manufacturers’ points to keep pace with Yamaha.

The team currently sits in second place in the current MotoGP manufacturers’ standings, especially since the team is basically a year removed from winning 14 of the 18 races in the 2014 season.

The reigning champion did say that the team is taking the necessary steps to improve its performance. Without diving into the specifics of what it’s doing, Marquez touched on some “ideas” the team has to improve the bike’s performance and avoid the same problems that has been plaguing it for the remainder of the season.

If there ever was a time to do it, this weekend’s race is as good a time as any to bring a bike that can not only stave off Ducati’s resurgence but more importantly, catch up to Yamaha, which is currently running away with both titles this season.

Continue reading to read more about Marc Marquez and Repsol Honda’s woes in the 2015 MotoGP season.

Why it matters

To be honest, I’m not all that concerned about Repsol Honda’s early season woes as other people are. First of all, it’s still early enough that whatever changes need to be made on the bike can have a great impact on the title race.

You also have to give the team a pass for all the injury woes it has sustained in the first four rounds of the season. Give credit to Marc Marquez for riding at Jerez despite a hand that was fresh out of surgery. But Dani Pedrosa’s absence has been huge for the team, especially with his replacement, Hiroshi Aoyama, struggling to find any kind of competitive form in the three races he’s filled in for Pedrosa.

Once Pedrosa returns, I fully expect Repsol Honda to get back in the thick of the championship race against Yamaha and Ducati.

All the problems can be sorted out because there’s still enough time to make up some ground on Yamaha. I’d be worried if these issues came out in the latter part of the season so in some ways, Repsol Honda is lucky that it’s experiencing these problems at a time when it can still make the necessary changes to fix them.

And just in case people forget, Marquez is still the reigning world champion and Repsol Honda is the manufacturers’ champion. Until somebody takes it from them, you can’t discount the champs just yet.

What do you think?
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