MotoGP: Repsol Honda presents its 2021 livery
Repsol Honda has officially unveiled its 2021 MotoGP livery and rider line-up of Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro.
As with all team presentations this year, due to Covid-19, the factory team reveal was a virtual event held across social media, YouTube and the MotoGP website. The video captured Marquez and Espargaro being kitted out in their new leathers and helmets, before jumping on their machines.
As predicted, the 2021 livery is almost identical to last year's paint scheme. The only clear difference is the Espargaro's number 44 on the front of his RC213V - replacing the 73 of Alex Marquez. Espargaro also has a new grey and blue helmet design for 2021.
Both Espargaro and Marquez were interviews during the launch events, alongside their race engineers, Ramon Aurin and Santi Hernandez. Team Boss Alberto Puig, HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata and Repsol Deputy Director Ana Camps also gave their thoughts on the new season.
As things stand it's unclear when Marquez will return to action following his season-ending arm injury last year. Marquez broke his right humerus in the opening race at Jerez and has since undergone three different operations. He'd also had two different plates fitted to his arm and undergone antibiotic treatment following an infection in the area.
“Step by step I feel much better and the recovery is going in a good way and this is the most important thing,” Marquez said. Every time that I went to the doctor, normally we had good news - that’s really important because last year was quite long and tough. But now, you know, we just try to follow my body with the physio, with the doctor and try to increase the work at home.
“I can’t say because I don’t know, and the doctors don’t know, when I will be ready. But the most important thing is that every week, not every day, but every week, I feel a bit better and I’m optimistic to be on the bike as soon as possible. I don’t know exactly when the day will be.”
Meanwhile, Espargaro joins the team after leading KTM's MotoGP project since 2017. The Spaniard enjoyed his best premier class campaign in 2020, securing five podiums and fifth overall in the championship - only four points behind Alex Rins in third spot.
“It’s exciting, so exciting,” Espargaro said when asked about wearing his Repsol Honda leathers for the first time. “I’ve been thinking a lot of times about this opportunity and now when you dress up for the first time in these leathers, you see it as real. The excitement is super high, it’s in the clouds.
“I do not know what to expect about this season. First of all, because we saw the past season was super tricky because of the Covid situation and we don’t know exactly where we need to race, how many times we need to race there, and the bike is new. I’m not going to have a lot of days of testing so it’s going to be hard in the beginning of the year, but I am really focused on achieving my dreams here.”
The 2021 MotoGP season, as it stands, will get underway at Qatar on March 28. The Losail International Circuit will also hold round two the following weekend and will be known as Grand Prix of Qatar.