What a difference a year makes. At one-third distance in last year's MotoGP championship, Marc Marquez led by 58 points; at the same point this year he's 49 points behind the leader. Which means his hopes of joining the elite band of premier-class hat-trick winners have just about gone. Unless, unless... he can recreate the miracle of 2014, when he came the first rider in modern Grand Prix racing history to win ten GPs in a row.
If Marc Marquez is to beat men-on-a-mission Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, it will take him at least ten victories to get back on equal terms with the Yamaha pair. Marquez's problem is a Honda RC213V that doesn't work as well as it did last year. The youngster rides the front tire harder than anyone, but a combination of engine character, chassis balance and electronics is throwing too much load onto the front during corner entry, especially once rear grip diminishes. And when the rear loses load it doesn't kick sideways like last year, it snaps sideways; too violently for even Marquez to control.
Comparing 2015 and 2015 race times at the first six rounds from the fastest Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders shows how much the MotoGP balance of power has tipped away from Honda. It also shows Ducati's GP15 is the best improved bike of the year.