The first day of free practice at the Buriram circuit in Thailand gave us a good idea of the condition of the revenant Marc Marquez. After his exploit at Motegi, the Spaniard set the best time in FP1, pushed to the limit in both sessions and even risked colliding with Miller's Ducati. The combined classification put him in fourth place, a great result if we consider the vicissitudes of the rider, in his third race since his post-operative return. Perhaps even more important was the fact that his Honda, certainly not the most competitive bike of the lot, is the first non-Ducati bike in the standings, ahead of both Fabio's Yamaha and the two Aprilias. The Thai circuit, different from the Japanese one, will as a result be a further test for the eight-time world champion to verify his physical condition in view of full recovery for the 2023 season. Marc, however, doesn’t take a position, and although visibly happy with his physical improvement, he knows that there is still a lot of work to do, both on the rider and on the bike.
"Today I managed to be aggressive in both sessions - Marc explains - but the important news is not so much the result, especially in FP1, as my physical condition. Right now my goal is to be able to manage and complete a race from start to finish. “Today I’m very happy especially because in Motegi I felt better than in Aragon, and today I feel better than in Motegi.”
The timesheets for the Spaniard, however, tell another story, because Marc set the best time in FP1. A banal slide in turn 3 on his first lap, without consequences, and then that almost contact with Miller that made him lose precious tenths, show that Marquez is fully recovering both physically and mentally.
"What I wanted to see was the improvement between races, both at Motegi and here in Thailand. Today I pushed the bike to the limit in both sessions and my arm is a bit tired. I feel however that I am still missing the consistency to tackle the entire race weekend at the same level. Today I worked both on the pace and on the general setup, to fine-tune the bike, but I know that after the highs there could also be some low moments, it's natural. I had an opportunity to test the carbon swingarm in the morning and the aluminium one in the afternoon, and the feelings I found were similar" continued the Spaniard.
How is your physical condition at the end of the sessions?
"I feel better than at Motegi, this circuit is physically challenging in relation to the duration of the race, not so much the strength to use to manage the bike. I feel I am improving, the riding sensations are gradually becoming more natural, too, even though I still make mistakes and it happens that I don't calculate the braking distances well. All this makes me really happy. "
Is the Marc of the past coming back?
“Today I said to my team that I used many lives. It was like in ‘19, in ’18. I was pushing all the laps in the practice. The problem was the last two years I couldn’t, because if I pushed all the laps then I couldn’t arrive on Sunday in a good way. Now, maybe I will not arrive on Sunday in the best performance because of a lack of muscle. But not because it’s painful. So today I attacked. I hope tomorrow it will rain, not for the result but to save my energy because today I felt already tired because today I pushed a lot.”
The latest news in the paddock is that the Clinica Mobile from 2023 will no longer be there.
"I don’t know the details of the story well, I have heard some things but I don’t want to take a position. From what I understand, however, I believe that there will be something similar, with a form and a concept different from the current ones. The important thing is that the relationship with the riders and the way of working do not change ".