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MotoGP, Marc Marquez: "Honda and Ducati are two different worlds. Dall'Igna reassured me"

The Spaniard at the end of the first day of testing: "Technical problems today, but the team reacted well. With the Honda I relied on the front, with the Ducati it's the opposite. Dall'Igna reassured me in the garage. Support is one of Ducati's winning secrets"

MotoGP: Marc Marquez:

Marc Marquez was not entirely satisfied at the end of the first day of official testing on the Sepang circuit. In fact, there were several technical problems that kept the Spanish rider grounded, as a result he had to settle for a ninth best time at the end of the test sessions. The transition from Honda to Ducati, even for a talent like Marc Marquez, is not a matter of a few days, and the not exactly congenial track took a lot out of him.

To avoid any misunderstanding, however, Marc said he was satisfied with the work done, also and above all by the team, the approach is cautious and analytical, because the countdown to Qatar has already begun and for the eight-time world champion more than the lap time the priority at the moment is only one: getting familiar with the language of his Ducati. Because while it is true that today the Ducatis are the benchmark in terms of performance, as Martin well demonstrated with his best lap, it is also true that in moving from the logic of Japanese ideograms to the seductive Italian character of the Rossa, the step was never going to be a short one. The Spaniard is well aware of this and he went into detail about the differences between these two very distant worlds.

“Today was a busy day, a strange day – began Marc - We had, with the team, many issues. But the good thing is that the team reacted in a good way. They fixed everything. But everything that could happen, happened today. We were not able to work in a good way. In the last hour of the afternoon was when we did some laps in a row. We started to feel better with the bike. Most importantly, this was the first day of testing, and the team worked in a good way and fixed in a very professional way. Overall, looking only at the tests, things went better in Valencia, but towards the end of the day we improved so I'm calm. It's not necessary for me to be the fastest here in Malaysia from the first few days of testing, I know that I need time to get to know this bike and get closer to the other faster ones."

Sometimes, among the other big differences when you leave the door of an official team to enter that of a satellite team, there is that of human resources. Having fewer people in the garage can be a critical issue for a rider.

"Not at all, we were just talking about it yesterday with my brother, and he has never had any problems with having fewer people around in the garage. It's a bad day that can happen, today I had to come in four times. The important thing for me is that on the first day of testing the team was able to react well to the difficulties, and did so in a professional manner."

However, as we have been accustomed to seeing for years, the presence of Dall'Igna and the other Ducati technicians in the Gresini garage was not lacking. A clear signal and further reassurance for the Spaniard.

“One of the secrets of Ducati is that they take care of all the bikes - continues Marc – Of course, the factory riders, they will be more in the box. But if you had an issue, a problem, they take care of all the riders. This is one of the secrets. It’s the way to learn, to fix the problem for all the bikes.”

Despite the technical problems, however, as demonstrated by the 9th time, it seems that the Spaniard is easily getting to grips with his new steed designed by Borgo Panigale, even if there is still a lot of work to be done to perfect the setup in view of Qatar.

"The sensations today weren't the best, I wasn't able to find the right pace today, and I wasn't able to interpret the track easily either. We still have some work to do to find that speed that we lacked today."

The Spaniard's priority is therefore to tailor this Ducati for himself, as he did with the Honda. So there were many details that he worked on during this first day of testing.

“Today I worked a bit with the foot rest. It was the one that I felt most uncomfortable. There was a plan to work with the handlebars but there wasn’t time. We worked on the rear brake, maybe I can improve there. The front brake, also, we worked on a lot. It’s one of the points where I take the most care for the feeling. It’s understanding the way to ride. How I can adapt to the bike, how the bike can adapt to me.”

Compared to Valencia, therefore, the Spaniard confirms the generally positive sensations.

“The bike is very different. In the end, for a rider, when you ride well in a circuit, it will be good for any bike. When you struggle - I struggle here in Malaysia in my history - the feeling is different. To compare with other Ducatis? Some corners I am the same, some corners I am a bit slow."

He then went into more detail into the differences between the creations of the two rival manufacturers.

“Here, the riding style changes a lot. The way to open the gas, the way to use the lines, is very different. I was used to riding one way with Honda here. The way to ride a Ducati here, to take the maximum profit, is completely different. In the morning I was riding with a Honda style. The bike was shaking, struggling. In the afternoon I started to understand better. With Honda, you use a lot the front. With Ducati, you use the rear. I was used to riding with the front, there was a massive pick-up with Honda.”

However, it seems that the Spaniard already wanted to test the limits of the GP23's potential, as demonstrated by that moment of uncertainty and the save shown at the last corner.

“In the final corner, they called it a crash but it was not a crash! It was a technical issue. I went in the gravel. But straight, not crash! Apart from that I had a problem in Turn 9, a save. I went in the box. There are some tricks with the Ducati which they explained to me. I said: ‘What is going on there?’ They explained to me something I need to learn. I had confidence, I jammed the gear, and I had that moment.”

Marc's expectations on the Ducati in these tests, it is clear, remain very high.

“Now, I need to adjust and understand what they are doing. You always look for quality laps but today I was not able to. It was the first rhythm. It is the first day, I have two more days to adapt myself to the bike.”

At the eight-time world champion's disposal, there will now also be another big advantage, that of exchanging data with seven other of the most competitive bikes.

“With Honda, the data was open. But to have more bikes… explains the Spaniard – Today I didn’t compare. Just one lap with Jorge Martin, just to understand what he was doing because he was the fastest Ducati. Still, I was super far in some parts of the track. I started to work with the set-up and not worry about the others. I was riding with a standard Ducati set-up, I didn’t touch anything. Frankie Carchedi, my new technician, needs to understand me. And I need to understand Frankie too.”

 

 


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