There's a lot of anticipation for the start of the 2020 World Championship in Spain, and it could not be otherwise. The arrival of Marc's brother, Alex Marquez, in the Repsol Honda team made everyone curious and anxious.
Speaking to AS, Alex confessed to having signed with the Japanese manufacturer only Monday after the Valencia Grand Prix. And he never had doubts about what to do, even if he knows that a difficult year awaits him. And if asked when and if he thinks he'll get on the podium he answered the only way he could.
"At this moment, I can't say what will happen. Today, I'm far behind. I felt I was getting closer every day in the tests, taking steps forward, especially in terms of pace, with used tires, and trying to understand how this bike is doing or how I have to adapt to it, since it changes a lot during the race. Obviously a podium is a good thing for the first season, but first I want to focus on the pre-season, without pressure. On the last day of the test in Qatar, I'll be able to tell you if we're close, far, or very far from the podium. I think being in the top eight of the championship would be positive and worthy of a first season."
Obviously, there are those who say that Alex only joined HRC because he's Marc's brother, but this is obviously only part of the truth.
"I think being a Moto2 World Champion counted. Without this, my name wouldn't even have come up. There have been more disadvantages than advantages in being Marc's brother. I know that perhaps I have to demonstrate more, or be faster than others. But it's something I've learned to live with for some time. I have the peace of mind that Puig, Kuwata san, and all of Honda have given me since the beginning. They told me: 'You're here, you're on the best team you could be on, with the best possibilities, but don't worry, you'll move forward of course, don't force yourself.' It's an opportunity, and I know what it entails. All the pressure. In the end, being a MotoGP rider brings all this, but even more if you're on a team like Repsol Honda."
Another question many people ask is what could happen if the two brothers found themselves racing side-by-side for a victory. Maybe it's too early to talk about it, but Alex knows what to expect from his brother.
"It would be entirely unlikely that he would stand down. Marc doesn't even like to lose on a bicycle, so how could he let me win a MotoGP race or a title? He would never do such a thing. Marc is a predator. He wants to win every time."
Alex's contract with Repsol Honda will expire, like his bike, in late 2020. So, he'll have to learn quickly if he wants to earn his renewal.
"I've always tried to learn. Maverick, Marc, Valentino, and Quartararo overtook me during the tests, and I tried to learn from everyone. And knowing Marc and Cal Crutchlow's telemetry helps. My goal, of course, is to earn my renewal."