His Honda had been giving slight signs of recovery but, instead, Marc Marquez ended up falling twice at Mandalika, dashing any hope of success. This is also why, on the eve of the Australian GP, his attitude is rather cautious. In the past, we’ve been fast on this track, but I prefer not to get my hopes up, since we’ve come back from a weekend that was worse than expected,” he said, later explaining the reasons for his double fall in Indonesia. “We came from a period of progress, especially in Misano, India, and Motegi. But, there, we fell back, struggling a lot on the track. I didn’t accept it, and so I slipped. Now I have to regain some confidence. This is a track where you can push only if you feel like it.”
Determined to be competitive, the Spanish rider shrugged at those who asked him if the wind that constantly blows on Phillip Island is a source of concern. “It’s dangerous when there are nearby walls and aquaplaning. Even if the aerodynamics amplify it for me, it’s not a problem. The important thing here is to have good traction, especially for turns four, six, seven, and eight. If you don’t feel like you can push, it’s best to stay calm.”
The low-profile approach then totally excluded Marc from a chance to success. “We can’t think of a victory, not here, but not even in Thailand and Valencia, which are friendly circuits on paper. Compared to the best, we have a disadvantage of 6/10 seconds.”
Looking towards the future, the eight-time world champion admitted that he had gotten into trouble with Honda for the choice of his replacement, given that now almost all the riders have already found a spot. So he spoke about the Gresini team with which he’ll be racing in 2022 he said: “So far, I’ve only spoken with top management, not with Carchedi (who’ll be his crew chief). I’ll have time to get to know the team, but I have to thank Honda because my mechanic, Javi Ortiz, will come with me, and he’ll be the only one. It’ll be strange to see my current team with another rider, but I think it’ll be more so for them.”
“Having said that, my focus is on the current season. I want to finish well with HRC,” Marc continued. “I’m not going to be on an official team and ride an older bike. If I can be quick, I’ll have updates.”
In the meantime, he still has to figure out if he can get on the Desmosedici in Valencia, in the tests after the last race. “It’s not 100% confirmed yet, but I hope it happens. If I get the chance, my winter will be much more relaxed,” he smiled. “I want to try it out.”
Now that his future is decided, Marc seems more relaxed. “I’m no longer happy because I was lucky enough to have always been happy, but I no longer can decide that. I have questions in my mind, of course, but the choice has been made, and so I’m more relaxed and enjoying the five GPs that remain,” he said.
Finally, he spoke about Casey Stoner who, in 2007, won the world title with Ducati. “I wanted to be on track with him. Maybe not in a battle, but just to observe him and then be able to look at his data. We have a similar riding style, for example, in the use of brakes, gas, and electronics. He’s a rider who won less than he could have due to falls that didn’t help him.”