When Marc Márquez made the decision, at the end of May, to punish his battered right arm with a new and delicate operation, he asked Honda to demonstrate the same level of involvement in the project, not only in terms of work, but also in the ability to “open your mind”. As a result of these demands, HRC took a step rarely seen in the MotoGP era, commissioning an external manufacturer, the German firm Kalex, to produce an aluminum swingarm for the RC213V , as reported at the time by Motorsport.com.
The piece arrived in Misano for the official test that was held there last week to be tested by the riders who carry the weight of the development of the 2023 machine, the German Stefan Bradl, Honda tester and replacement rider for Marc during his absences for the injury, and the eight-time world champion himself, who ended up satisfied, both with the result of the new piece, and with the fact that “Honda has opened up a bit, it’s no secret, as has been said and everyone has seen we have a new part,” referring to Kalex’s swingarm.
For now, this Thursday the Márquez mechanics have assembled the conventional carbon swingarm that they have been using up to now, but the aluminum part is in the box ready to be assembled when the rider, together with the technicians, require it. Everything indicates that it will be during some of the two free sessions this Friday.
The Kalex aluminum swingarm mounted on Márquez’s bike during the Misano test
Photo by: MotoGP
Under normal conditions, the mechanics need about 20 minutes to change the bike’s swingarm (15 if it’s an emergency), but it’s not usual to do it during a free practice session if you’re not on one of the two bikes. After testing it with positive results in Misano, it is wanted to reconfirm on a different track if the part provides the same benefit, since the extra grip of the Italian asphalt during the tests could give an erroneous reading.
Kalex is present, among others, in the Moto2 world championships, as a supplier of complete chassis, and WorldSBK, where it produces parts for some manufacturers. For the last 10 years Kalex bikes have consecutively won the title in the small class, and also BMW made a significant leap in SBK by introducing different elements provided by this brand, which is based in the German region of Bavaria, near the heart of BMW.
Honda, which has tested several chassis and swingarms in recent years without apparent success, the last one was mounted on Márquez’s bike at the Italian Grand Prix (before the operation), and was tested by the rest of the brand’s riders , Pol Espargaró, Alex Márquez and Takaaki Nakagami, in the June tests held in Barcelona, without the bike having offered substantial progress.
That has led those responsible for HRC, in an attempt to try new things, to order this swingarm from an external supplier.