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MotoGP, Marquez: "I'd rather they wanted me for my results than marketing"

"This is the reason I am working and will continue to work to have more options to choose from for the future. My goal for this year was to be competitive, but if I continue like this in 2025 I will want to fight for the title."

MotoGP: Marquez:

After getting his first pole position riding the Ducati GP23 and his first podium in a Grand Prix, with second place in the Spanish GP, all that remains for Marc Marquez to do now is to take his first victory in the colors of Team Gresini. A goal that the Catalan rider could achieve as early as this weekend at the Le Mans track, where he has already achieved three MotoGP wins between 2014 and 2019.

"About Le Mans I feel comfortable and it is a good track for me. It's true that this year I checked and in race tracks where I was struggling a lot, this year I am more competitive. Here in Le Mans last year I was fighting with Jorge until the last two laps. Let's see if we can start in a good way this year. The Jerez test was super positive and I kept learning a few things. The adaption process is finished and now it is what it is, I need to be faster and closer to these two guys" Marc said, setting the bar high for this weekend: "I was already cautious with the Honda, which is a bike I knew, and I'm even more cautious with this one, so we'll see how it goes on Friday, but I think being in the top five all weekend is a doable goal. Then we'll see if we can take a step forward and be in the top three."

Second place in Jerez certainly gave an extra boost to the eight-time world champion, who called the Andalusian podium the best of his career.

"Of course the podium was special because of where we are coming from. It's true that it was not a super special race, but we are coming from a very difficult moment and it had been a long time since a podium in the dry and to fight face-to-face with the winenr of the race. I had the pace to be there and this was something super nice to feel," explained the 31-year-old. "It's been a very long time since I didn't feel fast in a Sunday race. It was the first step, and now we'll see. We will have problems in some circuits, but it is a pleasure to fight with these two guys, who last year were at a super good level and were the title contenders."

After the battle with Pecco in the last round, the eldest of the Marquez brothers was the protagonist of an exchange with Davide Tardozzi, who commented during the French press conference.

"Did he buy me the new suit I asked him for? No ," he laughed, " I know Davide and I have a good relationship with him since I was battling with Andrea Dovizioso. He knows me and knows I try when I'm in front. This time it is different because I am also part of Ducati, but as I said on Sunday, it was a pleasure to fight with the world champion until the last lap."

It is precisely the Lenovo Ducati team, of which Tardozzi is Team Manager, that could be Marc's next destination, in a runoff with Jorge Martin for Bagnaia's teammate spot in 2025.

"Unlike Jorge, I am new to Ducati and I arrived here in a very special situation. Now, step by step, I feel better on the track, I'm stronger and much more confident and that was my goal for this year, " he commented, "Obviously, if I continue like this, my goal will be different in 2025 and 2026 and it will be to fight for the championship. To do that will require having the most up-to-date material so that I have more opportunities, but as I have already said the faster I am on the track the more options I will have for the future and if I have the opportunity to do that I will choose the best."

Speaking to the Spanish press, Martin reaffirmed in no uncertain terms that he wants to be an official rider next season, but said he is equally convinced that Ducati will ultimately choose the eight-time champion because of his history and not for marketing reasons.

"I prefer the team that wants me for results. That would be much better and that's what I'm working for. I made a change last year with a clear strategy and plan in my head and now I am finding what I was looking for. If I continue to be competitive, I will have more options. So I will continue to work to have options and be able to choose," reiterated the Team Gresini rider, also drawing parallels with the situation he found himself in in 2024: "This year is different from last year. Last year I was undecided until the last moment and it was hard, while this year I am enjoying it because I am much faster on the track. For me the most important thing this year was to be competitive, because if you are competitive you deal with everything very differently. Then we'll see. The important thing I think will be what bike I will have. The main goal is to win, but that's not the only thing to consider. When you make a choice you have to evaluate everything, although winning is definitely the element that weighs the most."

Then there is the talk of his strategy this year.

"I said it in Valencia: I have a strategy in my head, and if you want to follow a strategy, you don't listen to anyone: you go your own way, you have a plan with your people. If I crash, I crash; if I get on the podium, I get on the podium and celebrate. I hope I can win a race this year, but for now the strategy is going well."

Marquez then explained what aspects differentiate his GP23 from the Desmosedici 2024s of rivals Martin and Bagnaia.

"The differences for me are minimal - I can't see any difference. If I ride well, I feel I can fight with them even with the GP23. Of course there will be differences but you would have to ask them who have tried them both. I focus on my bike, I keep pushing and I'm having fun, which is the most important thing," remarked Marc, who then gave his opinion on why Ducati has been winning at Le Mans since 2020: "It is a bike that accelerates and brakes very well and is the most complete on all circuits This is a stop-and-go circuit on which I think you can see the strengths of this bike very well."

Marc then talked about the current moment, in terms of the rider market.

"The issue is simple: if a rider is expiring his contract and a factory, whatever it is, has the bikes free, the rider would be crazy and the factory would be crazy not to have, at least, a conversation. There are conversations with everyone."

But some may be more difficult than others. Think of the Monster-sponsored Ducati clashing with the fact that Marc is brand amabassador of Red Bull. The answer does not take us by surprise.

"In life, sometimes you have to make decisions you don't want to make, but we're all here, sponsors, brands, factories ... to win. And to win, you have to always look for the best. Logically, before making a decision, I consider everything, not just one thing or another. You put it all on the scales and see which way it goes. You have to look at everything in the balance and evaluate it. Logically no one is made of ice and everything is important, but the main goal here, the one that is important the most, is to win."

In the end, the Spanish rider had his say on the new technical regulations that will come into effect in 2027.

"I was joking before with some Spanish journalists that I don't know where we will be in 2027. I looked at the new rules and I won't go into detail, but it seems that the rules are going more in the direction of entertainment, with some more restrictions from a technical point of view, and I think it's good for the riders ," he said , " If there are fewer technical aspects on the bike, the rider can make more of a difference and his value will stand out more. I like this and it's kind of the way F1 followed last year as well."

 

Translated by Julian Thomas

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