Marc Marquez managed to harpoon a Q2 that very few would have thought possible today at Misano. He aimed at the tail of Dani Pedrosa's KTM and used it as a perfect tow to get a pass through the session that was difficult to predict. Marc is still a hound and with the right benchmark he manages to make a Honda in enormous difficulty fly. But the meeting with journalists at the end of Friday was also the scene for many questions addressed to Marc about his future, about the possible move to Gresini, about the desire to work with an engineer like Dall'Igna. And Marc didn't hold back.
"At Montmelo I didn't try to follow anyone because I knew that my chances of getting into Q2 were very low - explained Marc - Today, however, I knew I had a minimal chance, so I tried to follow Dani to try to improve, because he simply rides a MotoGP as best as possible. It wasn't my goal, but I saw him coming, so I tried. He rode very well. I'm in Q2, but I'm not very happy with what I felt on the bike. It was behaving strangely, it was difficult to understand where we can attack and where not. So we have to work on the bike."
Do you think he is the key figure in KTM's improvement?
"The test rider is always important and Dani is undoubtedly the best in this role. But for me the even more important thing in a team are the engineers. As you can see, Aprilia, Ducati, have good riders in the role of testers, but not Pedrosa in that role. Yet they have improved a lot. Here Bradl is trying new things, there are new faces and also new engineers. Japan is reacting well now."
You know the rumours that put you in Gresini with Alex in 2024. There are also those who say that you could buy the team. Do you think this is more possible or that Alex goes to live alone?
"I think it's more possible that Alex finds a new home, he's already looking for one - he laughs -. So I'd say this is the answer. But in racing anything can happen. Every day something happens here, today I got into Q2" .
Have you defined a base setup to use?
"It's strange what's happening because sometimes it happens that I use Bradl's setup, then I go back to mine, then I go back again. It improves here and there, even Nakagami often tries Bradl's setups. But the time attack for example , I did it with an even different setup, but the problems remain regardless of the setup we use. This means that they don't come from the setup but from other things."
What did you think while following Dani?
"With Dani it was a kind of deja vu. I hadn't seen anyone ride a MotoGP like that in a long time, only he can do it. I remembered his style, but seeing him on the track is something else. It's a pleasure to have him on the track, I admire him because he's not very young but he's still very fast."
Were you sorry when he left Honda?
"Obviously for me today it is easy to say that Dani is the best possible tester, among all those who work in this role in any manufacturer. Anyone would like to have him as a tester, he is fast, he knows how to be strong in the race. But I repeat what I said before , and that is that the most important thing for a team are the engineers rather than the riders. Bradl is also fast. Dani is the best, but if you don't have the right engineers even the best feedback is useless. As a rider you don't decide to lower here or raise there, just give the feedback. Then it's the engineers who translate these sensations and change the bike. What did I do when Honda decided to send Dani away? Well, in the end you can give your opinion, but then it's the bosses who decide".
Some observers even reckon that for your future you want to enter into a partnership with Gresini.
"Of course, anything can happen in this world. Maybe in the future I might have my own team, but I don't think it's the time for me to do something like that. I'm now focused on my job which is to go fast on the track".
Would you like to have Dall'Igna in Honda?
"I would like there to be someone who takes command of the operations and then they don't constantly change it from Japan. Because this is often what happens. I know they are working for 2024, let's see how it works. I would like to work with the best engineers in the paddock, I'm not necessarily referring to someone who occupies a position like that of Dall'Igna. But I would like to work with the best engineer who takes care of the engines, the best in terms of electronics and chassis. In short, you must create a structure" .
Do you think that European engineers can enter Honda HRC?
"There are already European engineers in my team. It was like this in past years too. The important thing is to have a good flow of information between the track and the factory, everyone must always know perfectly what the other side is doing."