Today for Alex Marquez was the day of first contact with his new Ducati. After three seasons with the Japanese bike, the youngest of the Marquez brothers decided to change scenery and found the Gresini team ready to welcome him with the world champion bike.
Although it is the family bike, Alex's adventure with the Honda did not start in the best way. Joining the official team alongside his brother Marc, HRC bosses decided to demote him to the LCR team for the following year even before he could compete in a race.
In fact, Marquez, in 2020 on a bike famous for crushing riders and being tamed only by his brother Marc, had achieved good results, scoring two second places, one in the dry and one in the wet.
The new adventure on the Italian motorcycle, in an environment totally unrelated to Honda and his brother, could give new impetus to the rider from Cervera, who is not only Marc Marquez's brother, but a rider who has two world titles in two different classes on his resume. This is what he had to say after the day of testing in Valencia: “It went very well, I enjoyed every lap, every corner and every session. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done, although from the very first run I felt very good on the bike. It is good to be competitive already even if we are not very competitive yet. I did not approach the time attack in the best way. The bike has a lot of room for improvement. We didn't try anything in particular but we just tried to adapt me to the bike and not the bike to me. It will be a very long winter. I'm happy with how it went and happy with the climate in the garage. The first contact was very good ”.
Is it an easy bike to adapt to?
“None of these bikes are easy to push to the limit. It is a docile bike, easy to turn, with a lot of power, as we know, and adapting to it comes quite naturally. Even in terms of ergonomics, although the position is quite different from that of the bike I was riding before, I was able to feel comfortable right away. Now we need to ride it and gain experience with the team. We need to disconnect and not think. Here we work a little differently and we have to adapt ".
What are the changes in terms of riding style?
"Yes, corner entry changes, more lean angle is used immediately. For the rest, my natural style comes a little easier with this bike. The gas also works differently. I thought I was struggling a lot, for now we need to ride it. My sensations are very good, the grip here is very high and the front gives me a lot of confidence, even in braking. "
What are its strengths?
"A bit of everything honestly. Acceleration and braking ".
What did you expect that instead you found different from what you imagined?
"I was expecting a much more aggressive bike in acceleration, instead there is a lot of power but delivered in a very docile way and it is something that helps the rider to ride comfortably."
So will Marc be jealous of you?
“I don't know, he will be very fast anyway”.
How did you feel with the team?
"There is a positive climate and everyone is very happy. Then you eat very well: I had breakfast in hospitality this morning and it was like staying in a hotel. I'm getting along very well with people ”.
What happened on the first lap?
"The first lap you have to settle down on the bike, I did a very slow lap".
The differences with last year's tests?
"Last year the tests were very positive, then we got to Mandalika and it was a disaster."
What is the goal for next season?
"The goal is to create a solid base with which to get ready for Portimao. The good thing is that we have this bike, but we don't have to try new things during the season, so we can focus on getting to grips with it ”.
How does the ergonomics change?
“The position changes, but I can't say how. The first few laps I felt a bit strange but then I got used to it quickly and I felt comfortable. It is a nice bike ”.
What changes between the Honda and the Ducati?
“I can't say this for contractual reasons, but yes the bike changes”.