Sometimes life can give you second chances. Just like in the case of the Marquez brothers, who will return to share a garage next season, in which they will wear both the colours of the Gresini team. Four years after that troubled 2020 season in Repsol Honda, which gave rise to Marc's sporting and personal ordeal and Alex's difficult years for the Japanese manufacturer.
“It will definitely be interesting to see him on a Ducati. I expected a fast teammate, but not that fast... It will be fun - commented Alex Marquez, speaking of his older brother's arrival in the team - I'm very happy for the team, because they deserved a rider like him, and also for Marc, because he deserves to have fun on a motorbike again. I won't say that he didn't ask me for an opinion, but I gave him my opinion as a brother, not as a Ducati or Gresini rider, because I know what he's been through since 2020 and how much he is suffering Honda's current situation. It's time for him to make a change, it's his decision, and for me it's positive because I will have a very fast teammate, an eight-time World Champion and I will be able to learn a lot from this situation."
There are massive expectations and a lot of curiosity about the Catalan champion's change of jersey, so much so that there are those who already imagine him immediately fighting for the World Championship.
“It's too early to say - observed the Gresini team rider - We have seen that riders usually adapt easily to the Ducati, it was like that for me too, but he has ridden the same bike for eleven years and there will certainly be several things that he will have to change. He has incredible talent, he will be fast from the start, but as I said it is too early and we will have to move forward gradually. We have the whole winter and pre-season ahead of us, but for me it will be good to learn from the best rider on the grid."
Brother, teammate and rival will be Marc's three qualifications for next season, in which he promises to be Alex's great opponent.
“Everyone will be my rivals, not just Marc. It's true that there is always a particular rivalry with your teammate, who is the first one you want to beat on the track. It will be the same with him, he will certainly want to be at the top, but beyond that I think we will have a normal relationship. We have already shared the garage at Honda in 2020, even if only for a short time. It didn't end in the best way due to his injury, but sometimes life can be pleasant and we will have a second chance to have fun together and grow as a team - underlined the two-time world champion, who will be able to exchange opinions and information with his brother both on and off the track - I've said many times that at home I don't talk much about races with Marc and this year even less, given that we have different bikes. Next year, however, everything will be simpler for us and we will certainly be able to talk about the bike and what we have done."
Not only will 2024 be a big challenge for the 27-year-old Spaniard, but also this weekend in Mandalika, which marks Alex's return to the track after the rib injury suffered in India.
"I'm very happy to be here. I missed the team and the atmosphere of MotoGP. It's not easy to watch the races from home on TV, especially the races at Motegi, but now it's time to return - said the Ducati rider - I know I arrived here a bit at the limit with my physical condition, but I was declared fit to compete and will try to be realistic at all times about the pain and with the doctors. If I feel too bad I will stop and wait until Australia. My goal, however, is to do the entire weekend, find the rhythm and prepare for the next two races. I will do my best, even though I know I am far from 100% in my condition, also because I haven't been able to train for two weeks. I will still try to give 100%, as I always do."
The Gresini team rider does not want to set any goals for this weekend, in which he only hopes to be able to get to the end.
“It will be a very important Grand Prix for the team, because we have several Indonesian sponsors, but I don't want to set myself any targets in terms of position - he admitted - If I had been at 100%, the target would have been to fight for the podium and stay as far ahead as possible, but unfortunately we are not in that position. We're here more than anything to find the rhythm again. I'll tackle one session at a time and see what our level will be."