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MotoGP, Marquez: "Honda is my plan A, but above all I want a winning bike"

"I believe in Honda, but having a competitive bike has always been my priority. I hope Iannone comes back, but MotoGP isn’t a category to go back to after four years."

MotoGP: Marquez: "Honda is my plan A, but above all I want a winning bike"


After missing the rounds in Argentina, Texas and Spain due to the injury sustained in Portugal, Marc Marquez returned at Le Mans, where he proved that he is once again the Marc of always, missing the podium in the French GP only due to a crash. A result that he will try to achieve at Mugello, after the spectacle he offered across the Alps.

“I enjoyed the weekend at Le Mans a lot, the pace was better than I expected, especially in the race. It's true that I took a lot of risks, especially at the end of the race. The limit was more my condition than the bike. I was destroyed, also because of the compartment syndrome in my arm - admitted the Catalan, commenting on his performance in France - I had forgotten everything I went through, I didn't think about where I was coming from, but I kept pushing. When you don't ride well with these MotoGP bikes you can make a small mistake, as happened to me when I was pushing hard, but I think I'm in a good moment, also in terms of physical condition. I think I'm back to my maximum level, like in Portimao, but we'll see because we'll suffer more here, because so many of the bike's weak points and my riding style are highlighted at this circuit. However, I will try to do my best."

Just a year ago, at a press conference at Mugello, Marquez announced the fourth operation on his battered arm in 2020 at Jerez. How much has changed in the last year?

“The 2022 Mugello GP was one of the most difficult of my career, because I already had my head at the clinic in America, where I was going to be operated on, while the body was here riding a MotoGP bike and I still managed to finish in the Top 10, if I remember correctly - replied the Honda rider - Obviously this year the goal is not to finish in the Top 10, but to try to get a little closer to the leaders. It's true that there are eight Ducatis, plus two Aprilias, which go very fast, but we'll try to do our best, see where we are and fight, as we did at Le Mans".

A race in which the 30-year-old seemed to be riding well over the limit.

“I always ride at the limit. I have crashed many times in my career because I always ride at the limit. I also rode that way in the past, but if I did it at Le Mans it was because I felt the limit - the Spaniard pointed out - In 2022 I didn't crash so much in the race, because I didn't ride to the limit because I didn't feel it, while at Le Mans I did and I was riding well. At the moment I crashed I was going slower in that corner because Martin was passing me on the inside. The problem was that I didn't have enough speed to drift into the corner entry, so I pushed the front a bit and lost it. I didn't crash because I wanted to go faster. The problem is that you have to be very cautious and attentive to all the details, with the package we have now."

Given Honda's lack of competitiveness in recent seasons, the rumours about the future of the eight-time world champion have dominated the scene in these three weeks of MotoGP break. With ex-teammate Jorge Lorenzo who speculated on a 2025 in Ducati, for the eldest of the Marquez brothers.

“Jorge was a good rider, we'll see if he's as good at making predictions - the Catalan said laughing - Seriously, I have a contract with Honda for next year and my commitment with them is total. They will always be my plan A, but it is also true that I will always look for a winning project. I don't care about the colours, the name or the place. I know the years are passing, but I'm doing my best. I underwent another operation on my arm, to return to the best physical condition and now that I've found it again, I'm ready to return to fighting for the World Championship".

After the ordeal of the last few years, after all, the only thing that interests Marc is having a bike with which to win.

“It has always been like this. It has always been my main priority and will always continue to be so - underlined the Spanish rider - When I signed with Honda in 2009, we finished every race on the podium, except one in Austin, where we didn't race. I still fully believe in Honda. We still have to work a lot to reach the level of our opponents but, even so, we were there at Le Mans and that's positive. I'm not looking at the results of the other Honda riders, I'm only thinking about myself. I will try to give 100% this year and next year. We are in 2023, next year will be 2024, so we will have time to think about the future”.

His companion in a thousand battles, Andrea Dovizioso has joined the MotoGP Legends at Mugello. Something that his historic rival greeted in this way: "I'm happy for Andrea, because he was one of the best opponents I've had and one of the ones I've had one of the best relationships with, because it's difficult to fight against an opponent and have a good relationship at the same time, especially since we've fought so many times. My best memories? Honestly, I especially remember when he beat me, like the two times at the last corner in Austria and also at Motegi, always at the last corner. I remember those races more, because that's where you can learn rather than in the cases where I beat him. I learned a lot from him, especially for his mentality ”.

Staying on the subject of old acquaintances, Marc then spoke about Andrea Iannone's possible return to MotoGP, once his disqualification for doping has been served.

“I had many good battles with Andrea. He is a very fast rider. I hope he comes back, but MotoGP isn't a category to go back to after four years - Marquez said - Maybe he'll have to get there step by step, starting first from another category, in another championship".


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