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MotoGP, Marquez: "All athletes have a decline, I'll find out if it applies to me too"

"You don't build a house from the top and I'm not ready to win yet. I have to learn from the young riders to be competitive again and find my smile again"

MotoGP: Marquez:

Marc Marquez sits in the centre, between Quartararo and Acosta, in the press conference of the Qatar GP, "but it's the second one, because we are not the favourites, they were in the first one" jokes the 8-time world champion. For him, 2024 is a new beginning, with the colours of the Gresini team and a Ducati as a companion. All the spotlight is on him and Marc also wants to have the answers that the others want, even if he knows that he will probably have to wait to fully clarify his ideas coming from a period that to say was difficult would be an understatement.

“Of course, it was a completely different pre-season because I was used to riding, just trying things for the bike and developing a bike - Marquez said – But this winter was the complete opposite. I was focused on myself, trying to adapt my riding style to the new bike, and from the beginning I feel not bad. Still, there are many things to learn and many things to improve, especially learning from the top guys inside Ducati.”

How do you feel now?

“At the moment I feel comfortable, not ready to fight for the podium, not ready to fight for the victory, but step by step we need to create the base and try to understand during the race weekends where we are.”

Many observers expect you to be an immediate winner.

“It’s true that the expectation is super high, but I know what I pass these last four years, I know where I’m coming from and I know where I pretend to arrive. But I need my time, there’s no rush. I don’t pretend to arrive here and try to win from the beginning because it will be a huge mistake, especially because the last two years I was not able to win even a single race. So, first of all I need to complete a base. I arrive in a manufacturer where two, three guys, especially Martin, Pecco, Bastianini who are riding this bike super fast, they know it super good, and I need to learn from them. But we cannot forget that every athlete has his moment and then starts to drop, and then in that drop you have to work harder and harder to keep flat. But young guys arrive, so I need to learn from the youngest riders and try to keep that level as long as possible.”

Has there already been this decline you're talking about in your career?

“I will understand this year. Last year, I was suffering but even like this, I was the first Honda. During seven years I won six championships and one year was third. 2020 changed my life. Since then, it’s been a nightmare. A very difficult four years. And now I intend to answer many questions to myself. For that reason I need time. I don’t need to answer all the questions in the first race. I need to go step-by-step. Like I did in the pre-season. If some days I finished 14th, no panic. Just what I want to do is feel competitive again. But that doesn’t mean winning the championship, it means fighting for the top 5-6 positions. This is what I want, but not straight away in the first race. You cannot build a house from the top.”

What is worrying you?

“My instinct. In the tests you have no pressure, you have time to think, but in the race everything is different and I could start riding the Ducati like the Honda again. I still have to get used to riding the Desmosedici the way she wants it, not the way I want it."

Is it difficult to start thinking you can't fight for the title?

“In MotoGP it's always a combination of factors. A talented rider can win 2 or 3 races, but to win the championship you need a complete package and it's not easy. I'm working on myself, I have to accept the situation and be realistic."

You will also have to think about your future.

“For now I have to focus on myself, if I manage to be fast I will have a better chance of having a more competitive bike for next year. When I chose to go to Ducati my goal was clear: to get back to being competitive, when it happens I will have a smile under my helmet again."

Do you feel Ducati's support towards you?

“Right from the start, otherwise I wouldn't have made this choice. I knew I would be in a satellite team with a 2023 bike, but I feel I have a good relationship with the Ducati managers and their respect, this is important."

Acosta has a chance to become the youngest winner in MotoGP by beating your own record. Can he do it?

“Pedro has shown that he has super talent: in Moto3, in Moto2 and now in MotoGP. When you have it, you're fast as soon as you get on any bike. Many rookies managed to win and get on the podium, he can beat my record."


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