Honda race boss Shuhei Nakamoto has sent a message to rookie sensation and MotoGP world title aspirant Marc Marquez: No more friendly fire.
Nakamoto wants to see a calming of the high-risk style that has positioned the 20-year-old Spaniard to become the first rookie in 35 years to win the title.
Marquez holds a cushy 39-point lead going into Sunday’s race at Sepang as he closes in on the record of American legend Kenny Roberts who won the title as a rookie in 1978.
Nakamoto wants Marquez to calm his aggressive tactics and ease the tensions within the Honda team.
Controversy erupted at last week’s Aragon GP when Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa crashed when the cable controlling the rear wheel traction control system was snapped after being bumped by a late-braking Marquez.
The incident has almost certainly ended any hopes Pedrosa held of finally winning his first MotoGP championship.
“It is something I would not like to see happen again,” Nakamoto said.
“Marc must recognize that at the moment he is a little bit too aggressive. I hope he will accept this.
“Marc himself doesn’t think he is too aggressive, but his braking style is different to other riders.
“Marc’s style is to brake very deep, and he has to learn a little bit more.
“In Aragon there was small contact, almost no touching, but we don’t need this, so Marc needs to wait a little in these situations.
“Marc is very clever and he is very, very fast, but still he is learning how to ride a MotoGP machine.
“Because he is a clever guy I do not think it will be difficult for him to understand the situation.”
Perhaps a gentle, but clear, reading by Nakamoto of what he expects from Honda riders.
Nakamoto added that HRC engineers have undertaken an urgent fix to the design of traction control cable to avoid a repeat of this incident.
“We will do something different and we will have this ready for the Malaysian Grand Prix,” he said.
Another win to Marquez in Malaysia, which would be his seventh of the season, would give him a chance of wrapping up the title as early as next week’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.