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MotoGP, Alex Marquez: “Marc will be a cannibal when he starts having fun again”

“I don’t like to say he’s going to be who he once was, because I think he’s always maintained the same level. I expect to be ahead of him this year, but he’s very smart and knows how to approach the season.”

MotoGP: Alex Marquez: “Marc will be a cannibal when he starts having fun again”

The 2024 season for the Gresini team and Alex Marquez opened at the Cocoricò club in Riccione, and everyone was again eager to defend the colors of the Faenza team in the MotoGP for the second consecutive year. A season in which the 27-year-old Spanish rider will share the garage again with his brother Marc. He and Marc had already been teammates in Honda in 2020, precisely during the year of his debut in the Premier Class of the World Championship and the accident that started the eight-time world champion’s sporting ordeal. A sort of missed opportunity that the two brothers from Cervera will get the chance to recuperate in the team led by Nadia Padovani.

I hope it’s going to be a second chance. It’s true that we were also in a completely different situation then. I was a rookie. I had to improve in many aspects, and I didn’t have the opportunity to get a lot of information from him, who was very fast. I had to progress, step by step. But now we’re in a different moment, and I think we can both profit from it,” Alex commented during the team presentation.

Having Marc as a teammate will be a great asset for the 27-year-old, but also a tough nut to crack.

Sharing the garage with your brother is really special. Racing in the world championship, even more so in the MotoGP, is already special, so it’s unimaginable what it feels like to be part of the same team. I have to take advantage of this situation and, as Michele (ed. Masini) said, the magical atmosphere that we can create in hospitality and off the track will be really important, not only for us, but also for the whole team. I’ve been on many teams, but the Gresini team has something different in this regard,” the Spanish rider said, highlighting the pros and cons of having Marc on the team. “Like I said, there are many positive aspects. He’s your brother, he knows everything, and you can ask him many things. The downside is the expectations of the team and the people. That’s the hardest part, but I think we can handle it well.”

But Alex isn’t afraid to confront his older brother, and he’s ready to make him eat some dust in the first part of the upcoming championship and beyond.

With the approach he said he’s going to take, I expect to get in front of him. But not only when  he adopts a calmer approach,” he stressed. “Like I already said, it’ll be very important for me to have a teammate like him from whom I can learn a lot, especially this year, because it’s my second year with this bike, while it'll be the first for him. So, we’ll be quite on par, and it’ll be important to take advantage of it to reach a higher level. That said, he’s very intelligent and knows how to approach a championship with twenty-two races in his first year on this bike.

The Gresini team rider, however, has no doubts about the talent of the eight-time world champion and his chances of winning again.

Marc misses having fun on the bike, and having the bike, and everything he needs to do well. When he goes back to having fun, he’ll be a cannibal again,” Alex said. “I don’t like to say that he’ll return to being what he was, because I think he’s always been what he was. He was unlucky with those injuries, but he always maintained that level that allows him to work magic on the bike. I think the races are now more aggressive than when there were the Fantastic Four, not just the riders, because the bikes are now all closer, and you always have to seek the last tenth. Before, there were only four official bikes you could win with, and it was more relaxed. Now, with ten riders who can win, you have to try to make a difference aggressively.”

After a good first season with the Gresini team, Alex looks at 2024 with confidence and rated the level of his preparation for the upcoming championship: “After this presentation, I can only say ten from a mental viewpoint. I’m happy and happy, and it’s going be an important year. Physically, I’d say a seven, because you have to reach a ten for the race in Qatar otherwise, by mid-season, your energy is already depleted.

As for the Ducati with which he’ll be facing the upcoming season, the two-time world champion already got an idea in Valencia of his new Desmosedici and the differences with the bike he rode in 2023.

The conditions made it difficult to feel the differences, because the day was a bit strange and windy, but it’s true that the engine has a different character, and the aerodynamics are also different. We adapted a bit, but I’ll have to get used to the character of the engine, and we’ll have to work a little on the power delivery to adapt it to my riding style,” he explained. “Ducati has several options from this aspect, and I’ll have another three days in Malaysia to better understand the bike. Anyway, it doesn't seem like it’s a revolution, but a more powerful evolution, and it’s always positive to have a little more power on the straight, to try to overtake.

Translated by Leila Myftija

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