Sitting on Marc Marquez’s Honda RC213V during the recently Honda organised ‘Thanks Day’ at Motegi, Max Verstappen said he’d like to put in a few laps on the bike but that Red Bull “won’t give me permission”.
Red Bull’s double World Champion joined his fellow Honda motorsport stars at the Motegi circuit last month, there were photographs on social media of the Dutchman sitting on Marquez’s MotoGP bike.
But unfortunately for Verstappen that was all he was allowed to do, sit on the bike, banned from doing any running by his Red Bull team bosses.
“I’d like to try them,” he said according to Corriere dello Sport.
“These guys are crazy, the speed they have on a straight line is incredible.
“But the team won’t give me permission, I could break my leg.”
As for the option of saying he’ll go slow, the reigning World Champion said: “Go slow? I know myself well. If I try I would push, but the problem is if something goes wrong.
“However, I really love watching races on TV and one of my favourite things is that there are so many manufacturers who can win.”
F1 was competitive, last season
MotoGP is without a doubt more competitive than Formula 1 is today.
While seven riders claimed victories during the 2022 MotoGP championship, there were five from Formula 1, with MotoGP also recording wins for five manufacturers compared to F1’s three.
But perhaps the most telling stat is that Max Verstappen won the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with four races to spare, although it was pretty much a done deal by race 13, the final event before the summer break, as he had eight wins on the board and an 80-point advantage.
In MotoGP it went down to the wire, Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia both in the running, with the Ducati rider taking his first title. He won seven races to Quartararo’s three.
Although Formula 1 took steps this season to introduce cars that would create a tighter grid and more overtaking opportunities, it widened the gap between the top three and the chasing pack.
While last year eight of the 10 teams featured on the podium, this season just four managed it with Lando Norris the only driver from outside the top-three getting to spray champagne. And he did so only once.
F1 bosses are adamant the regulations will do the trick eventually, closing the gap between all the teams. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take eight years like the V6 era did to give us a 2021 thriller.