Alex Marquez will face his third season in the MotoGP this year, continuing in the LCR team. Sixteenth in the 2021 World Championship, with a fourth place in Portimao as the best result of the year, Marc's younger brother will have to raise the bar to prove he deserves a factory Honda.
"2021 was not an easy year,” the Spanish rider stated. “I think it was like this for all the Honda riders. We didn't start in the best of ways but, during the season, we improved a great deal. We worked a lot with the HRC team to figure out which direction was best to take. The last tests went well. The potential of the bike is there, and it shows, after all. When you end a season like 2021, there’s always something to learn in order to improve and be a more complete rider.”
You took part in the Jerez tests. What were your first impressions?
"The sensation with the new bike was remarkable right from the start. Obviously, the bike isn't at its best yet. Some components have improved, especially those that caused us problems last year. On others, there’s still work to be done but, overall, I’m satisfied. The next five days of testing before the upcoming season will be crucial, and I'm glad that Marc will be there with us to test the bike. His contribution to the team is really important."
You've shown your potential during your rookie season with your podiums. Do you feel optimistic for the upcoming season. Do you think you’ll be able to consistently replicate those results at every race, given the potential of the new bike?
"My goal will be to arrive in Qatar with the same level with which I ended the last season, so each of those five days of testing will be crucial. Starting the season with a good result will be important to dictate the steps to come. Obviously, it's not only the bike that needs to improve, but I, as a rider, will have to also. I’m the first to be critical of myself, but my physical condition is optimal, and I can't wait to work hard on the new bike in the next tests in Malaysia and Mandalika, in order to face Qatar in the best way possible."
After the last tests in Jerez, you had the winter to reflect on this new bike. Is there anything you think you still need to work on?
"I think the bike showed a good part of its potential in Jerez but, no, we haven't had the opportunity to refine the various riding set-ups and, obviously, to get a more complete picture of the vehicle, we have to first try it on tracks other than the Spanish one. However, the first sensations were really excellent, so I can't wait to put the new prototype to the test in Sepang."