A new adventure in MotoGP has begun for Alex Marquez, on the Ducati with the colours of the Gresini team. Up until now, it's been a success, even if only the races can be a faithful litmus test of the Spaniard's level on the Italian bike.
Meanwhile, Alex has been recounting his first months in the court of Borgo Panigale in an interview conducted by his sponsor Estrella Galicia (you can see it above).
You've just finished the preseason with the last test at Portimao. What are your thoughts on this early moment riding the different machine?
“It's clear that when you change your team and even more about bikes, you wish you were a bit more prepared to arrive at the first race. But I think in those six days we had this preseason I've been very productive especially the last one at Portimão. I think we made a big step forward there in terms of quality, pace and understanding the bike. We focused on the riding style on me getting more out of the bike. There, I focused more on myself, on riding and preparing for the first Grand Prix. From there I don't know where we will stand yet. I feel satisfied with the preseason job we have done, the bike feels very different. I think the concept is similar somehow but then how it behaves, how it gives you the information or how it feels on you or used tires seems totally different. Also on the human side, the Japanese factory compared to a European manufacturer, Italian in this case, the character of the people or how they deal with the tests or a GP event is totally different. And that's what I liked most. It's something about the way and the importance, the people from factory, give you and all the support you receive.”
What areas would you highlight about performance from the new Ducati Desmosedici and what are the ones not fully exploited yet?
“I had two crashes on day 2 at Portimao. Well, that's what the last day of testing was for just to search out our riding limits. In the first crash I was looking for the limit, but the second one was very silly because I didn't want to touch the green. I fell but it was a very soft crash and I don't count it as I even came back to the pit riding the bike. It was important to get the maximum out of it, but I'm still missing a point in the braking. Especially compared to other Ducati riders who are more used to getting the maximum on this side. I'm also missing something riding on new tires because of the grip they give. We saw it last year. In qualifying the Ducati riders usually got a bit more grip and that's what I have now as one of my biggest advantages. That used to be a very difficult area for me, because I wanted to understand how to get that last extra second on new tires and how it feels so different for me between riding on new or used tires. Now, it feels a bit more difficult for me here on used tires. That's the area I'm working on. Now, let's see what we can do in the first event of the season. And how we can fully understand the type of format in order to become as consistent as possible throughout the whole race.”
Since you started racing in MotoGP in 2020, did you ever experience any low moments when you just had to say to yourself: no giving up?
“Well, without going any further, it happened to myself last year when you announced to your team, you're leaving. They don't give you any more improvements for the bike. We were already in a complicated situation as we were already lacking a lot of improvements on the bikes so we were far behind our rivals. However, when you sign with another brand, you just ride the stuff you had before until the end of the season. So there was some difficult times to find the motivation in the final part of last season, but then you think well this will help me in the future. It will give me a lot of terms of maturity and I know I don't have to give up, because as soon as I will get on the new bike, I'll have on my side, the advantage of enjoying after struggling and that will also be good for me.”
Speaking of resilience and fighting attitude, how did you see your brother Marc during this pre-season?
“I saw him well, especially happier. After his fourth arm surgery last year, we all saw him a bit better. He has been able to recover well this winter and I've seen him without pain. Also better about personal moments and on the bike because he said he could do more of what he wanted to do on track. Personally, I've seen him well, and I think that's important for a season as long as the one that is starting now.”
Tell us about your expectations for the season?
“I'm really looking forward to race at Portimão. I was recently asked what circuit I would most like to race at. And I always say Portimao because it's the first one, it wouldn't make any sense to say Valencia, which is the last one, it's also a favourable circuit for me, it's also the first round this season and it's important to get a good momentum. As I say, good dynamics and from there on, well we'll see. I think that's setting a goal right now is a bit hasty. We will race at very different circuits. In Malaysia we will suffer a bit more, maybe at Portimao it will be a bit better for me. We have first four races, at Portimao, Argentina, Texas and Jerez. Those are four very different circuits, two inside Europe and two outside. And then we will see where our potential really is and what we can aspire to.”