Marc Marquez arrives in the enemy's lair, with a cold and perhaps feverish, but he has more than one reason for not being afraid. The numbers are clear. He is the world championship leader and has already put away three successes in five races, aiming for the fourth in the hills of Mugello. A track that the Spaniard rider admires but emphasizes the great risk linked to the last part of the long straight.
"It's one of the greatest circuits on the calendar because it follows a natural design in a certain sense. It's nice to ride here, but the only critical point is the end of the straight. We moved the wall on the side of the track, he explained. "It was very close, and there was talk of slightly modifying the point at the "scollino", since we more or less start braking at that point. We talk about it every year, and I think that, in the future, something will have to be done to make that point flatter because when you're in a group it's dangerous.”
Safety aside, Marc arrived in Tuscany aware of not being the favorite but with new tricks up his sleeve.
"We have improved since the first race, and we've come here with some great sensations. I can ride the bike very well. Mugello is one of the tracks where I struggled in the past, he confessed. "But I also had some good races. I was fast last year, but I fell during the race. This year, we'll see how it goes with a different base and a different engine. Certainly, this track is one of those in which first and foremost you have to get points, but I'm not excluding any hypothesis.”
Further help could come from the tires, which could allow Marc to ruin the party for Ducati and the Italians, reaching that victory at Mugello, which he hasn't had since 2014.
"In 2017, and last year, I struggled to handle the front tire but, this year, the compounds have changed, and this should help me. I know this race is important for Ducati and for the Italian riders. They definitely want to win, but it's a race like any other for me. I'll try to concentrate on my pit."
In addition to concentrating on his pit , number 93 will also focus on his brother Alex's who, after the Le Mans victory, is ready to continue to assail Lorenzo Baldassarri's leadership position in the championship.
"I've known Baldassarri since CEV times because he was running against my brother. I'm obviously rooting for Alex and will try to help him. He has a particular riding style, since he's tall, but he's still fast, so," he concluded, "he will be a difficult opponent for Alex.”
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera