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MotoGP, Marc Marquez: "If I don't improve tomorrow, I won't get through Q1"

"For the first time I struggled on the Ducati and crashed from going over the limit. I knew it would happen, but I didn't expect it to happen at Le Mans. We took a wrong direction."

MotoGP: Marc Marquez:

It was a Friday of firsts at Le Mans for Marc Marquez and they were not good. For the first time since he has been on the Ducati, he found himself in Q1 and he crashed for going over the limit. His difficulties are one of the surprises of this practice day, although the Spaniard of the Gresini team is not panicking after 13th quickest time. "I told you that there would come a day when this would happen and it was today in Le Mans," he recalled, "This is the first Friday it was difficult, and the other Fridays were quite easy, pace was good, was easy to be in Q2. But it's true that it's the first Friday we struggled more and it can happen. So, now it's time to react and try to understand what we did, where I struggle more on my riding style and try to improve for tomorrow.

You missed a flying lap.
"The penultimate lap I was going well and got a yellow flag, in the last one I made a mistake in Turn 6, I was angry because it was the last chance and it was my fault. It was like that, but I have to improve not only in the flying lap but also in the pace. I have to improve myself, in my riding style, and also the set-up of the bike. We have all the data from the other Ducati riders, it's useful, we have to understand where we are and where they are, tomorrow morning's practice session will be crucial to see if I have any chance in Q1."

How important will that session be?
"It will be vital. If you want to fight for something, and I mean be in the top 5, you have to start in the first 3 rows, otherwise you can't do it. Q1 is the worst round of the weekend and it won't be easy to pass it, there will be Bastianini, who is very fast, and Binder, who is strong in the time attack."

With today's crash, you made it 7 crashes this year, only Binder has done worse than you with 8.
"I expected this number, but also to do less in Portimao, where I went down four times. Today was the first time I crashed because I went over the limit, all the others were due to external causes: a wet spot, the brake, I accidentally touched the lowering device. I crashed in the sector where I was struggling the most, the bike was not turning and ... I tried to make it turn (laughs). Today I was struggling against the bike, I wasn't smooth, I wasn't clean in the lines - I didn't find the speed the right way. I'm pushing a lot on the front because I don't feel the rear very much, and on the Ducati you have to do that, otherwise you struggle."

Did having to use the second bike limit you?
"It was pretty much identical to the one I crashed with. In truth, I think the direction we decided to take in the afternoon was not the right one. I think that tomorrow we will take a step back and see if I will find those feelings I had in Jerez. As I said, even this morning I didn't feel very comfortable, so it will be difficult to get through Q2 if the feelings remain as they were today."

Are the rumors about who is going to the official Ducati team distracting you?
"I'm already 31 years, 14 years in MotoGP, so I don't feel that pressure. It's the first Friday that we struggle, and this can happen and now it's time to react. I don't expect to struggle here in Le Mans, but it can happen."

Photo © Pier Luca Brunetti

Translated by Julian Thomas

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