Marini has always been known to be like a diesel engine: he starts out calmly and he needs time. And, in fact, Luca is on his way. After the struggles of his first year and the beginning of the season, and after showing some good performance in qualifying, 'Maro' finally seems to have found the solution, and he had a great race today, with a podium pace. Even if he still hasn’t reached his first podium, Marini is definitely progressing, with four top tens in the last four Grand Prixs. Little by little, he’s putting together the pieces of his puzzle towards maturing in a queen class with very fierce riders and bikes.
Nice race. Yesterday we were saying you didn’t have the pace, but we were wrong.
"I was right. We found something this morning, and the bike got better. I had more confidence with the front and could handle the rear even better. I struggled, and this led me to use the rear more, which worried me. David, my chief engineer, made some good changes this morning, which allowed me to be faster in corners and make the bike ride better, allowing me to open the throttle more. This was decisive for the race today. I had the pace for the podium, so the only thing I'm angry about is yesterday's qualification. We could have done better. Starting from the third row already makes the race difficult. My pace could have kept up with Zarco's. Maybe not beat him, but I could’ve been there with him."
Is the trick to being fast here is to race well using the rear?
"Yes, even looking at the data, Pecco's been making a big difference all weekend. I looked at his data and everyone else's, because I wanted to have a good race. They're all very similar except for mine. You can see that it makes a difference, and he has a great feeling with this bike. He has more speed, leans less, and brakes the same or later. I think the secret to not overstressing the tires is that."
In the second part of the race, you went out, while there were very few passes at the beginning.
"Yes, it was impossible to pass, because I was riding the rear tire. The other riders were at full throttle. I knew I had to preserve the tires, so I could be fast in the second half of the race. Unfortunately, I lost some positions and had to be patient following the strategy we had already thought of."
They say that Luca Marini progresses slowly, a little at a time, in small steps. Is that true?
”Yes, but this progress won’t stop. Even the best like Quartararo and Pecco continue to improve."
Are you starting to figure things out?
"Yes, I honestly wanted to be able to fight for these positions before but, at the beginning of the season, I had problems. It was all new and we struggled. Now we've found a good foundation, and we're getting better every time. This is the first race in which I got the chance, and I thought I could reach the podium."
Do you think it's time for your manager to talk to Ducati, to tell them that you’re also there with Jorge and Enea for the official team?
"It's not a good time. There’s a race next week. Let's focus on that."