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MotoGP, Marc Marquez: "I study Bagnaia and Martin’s data to understand how they ride"

“I'm not interested in comparing our bikes. The progression in the tests has been positive, but I am not yet at the level of the leaders. I don't know if I'll get there in the future, but I will continue to insist on doing so, without setting goals for the first races. Acosta? Sooner or later, he will fight for the World Championship."

MotoGP: Marc Marquez:

Marc Marquez doesn't hold back when there is work to be done and he also demonstrated it on this third and final day of testing in Sepang, which ended with 54 laps to his name and the sixth final position, just under six tenths from the new track record set by Francesco Bagnaia.

"I was really on the limit. But another sprint simulation was not on the plan after 72 laps yesterday. But I said, 'Okay, I need to make the last effort'. I don't know if in the future I will arrive at the level of the top guys but I don't want to have the gap. Keep working is the key. I don't want to have that, 'Ah, you don't make that'. I will do and I will insist to try to do it. We adjusted a few things on the bike and I also adjusted a few things on my riding style. The team also started to understand me better and then the time attack was better. Still half a second to the top guys. But they are super fast on the time attack,” explained the eight-time world champion.

Although the top of the timesheets is still far away, the thirty-year-old can only be happy with the progress made in these three days of testing in Malaysia.

“Overall at the test, the progression was positive. This is the most important. The first day was difficult. The second day I started to work a lot of laps, I was close to the pace, but far on the time attack. Today the time attack was better - acknowledged Marc while summarizing the tests -It was a completely different riding style compared to Honda. I adjusted a few things on the bike and a few things in my riding style. The team is also starting to understand me better. The time attack was better but still half-a-second from the top guys. But they are super fast. On race pace, we are closer. In the simulation of a sprint race, in some corners I was faster than my time attack.”

Too early to say how deep the love between the Catalan and the Desmosedici GP23 is, but the conditions are good.

“It’s never enough! - the new rider of the Gresini team replied smiling - Step by step I'm working, I'm feeling better. Still I'm riding too stiff on the bike. Still, I cannot play with the body like Bastianini or Martin. It's true that Pecco is not playing a lot with the body and he is fast, but let's see. Still I need to understand especially the exit of the corners where you really make the lap time with this bike, to try to take the maximum profit. For example, the Honda was the opposite. For the time attack, it was more on the entry. With this bike, it is more in the exit."

Aware that he still needs time to abandon the automatisms learned on the RC213V, the eldest of the Marquez brothers calls for calm.

"This definitely takes time. For example when Jorge Lorenzo jumped to Ducati, everybody said he would not adapt, he is far. But then he started winning races in the middle of the year. My brother last year, he started not-so-good and then in the last part of the season was also fast. Let's see if I am able to arrive at the top level. Of course, the level is there but not enough. To be faster you need to be on the race track and do what I did these three days, riding, riding, riding. For example, one of the problems I can have on race weekends is, in two runs I was already in the lap times with Honda, but here in these three days it took a lot of time to arrive in a good lap time - observed the Spanish rider - Valencia is a very special track for me. Even on the Sunday I fought for the podium and victory with Honda. I knew that reality would arrive here. I am happy about our progression. We need to understand the way to arrive, like Jorge Martin did on the first day. Why? He knew how to ride the bike. I still don’t know.”

Comparing his data with those of other Ducati riders might speed up Marc's learning, who however prefers not to set goals for the start of the championship.

“I compared my data with those of Jorge and Pecco, but rather than focusing on the differences between our bikes, I focused on comparing riding styles. It's what I need right now and then the bikes are quite similar, from what I understand. I don't have any minimum objective for the first races, what matters to me is to continue along an ascending path." he underlined.

Like everyone, the eight-time world champion also admitted that he was impressed by Pedro Acosta's performance in Malaysia.

“He will be very fast during the season - he acknowledged - Now the riders are super fast when they get into MotoGP and it seems to me that Bagnaia himself managed to take the lead in one day in his first test here. I don't know how many times Pedro has fallen in recent days, but this is the way to learn: attacking is the right mentality and I will always defend it. He is fast, he is a great talent, and, sooner or later, he will fight for the World Championship."

His brother Alex was also one of the riders to shine on this last day in Sepang, which ended in fourth position with over three tenths of a margin over his teammate.

“Alex, months ago, was the winner of the sprint race here. And on the front row. Second in the race. Today he was super fast which is good for the team. In the time attack he did an incredible time, behind the three factory Ducatis. This is positive. On race pace, we were closer. He was super fast. Of course I wish the best for my teammate and my brother,” the Iberian rider commented elegantly.

Before starting to prepare for Qatar, Marc concluded the meeting with the journalists by analysing the differences found so far between Honda and the Gresini team.

“They are two different realities, because one is an official team with a Japanese culture and the other is a private, family-run Italian team - he pointed out - In a factory team you have many elements to test and you have to be very concentrated and provide precise comments, to direct the development of the motorbike. Now I'm in a different situation because I'm mostly learning to ride this bike. Obviously it is impossible that after four days of testing communication will be as fluid as it was after 12 years at Honda, but if you want to fight at the top there is only one method of working and planning the tests and that is to try to organize everything for the better".


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