Alex Marquez and the return of his brother Marc
Present in the traditional Thursday press conference of Termas de Rio Hondo, Alex Marquez commented on the good initial feeling he had on the Gresini team Ducati Desmosedici GP22, with which he finished the Portimao Sprint in ninth place and the race in fifth: “I had so much fun. From the first day on the Ducati I made some steps forward, it was my first weekend with the Gresini team. I made some mistakes, I missed Q2 and I made some mistakes in Q1. We have some ideas on what to improve, the track in Argentina is very different with rather low grip.
The first races will be important to understand our competitiveness. Sectors to work on? It’s not like I have to adapt to the bike, I still ride too much like a Honda. I lean too much in some moments, there are several things in my riding style that I need to change and I think this will bring progress race after race“. There was no punchline about conditions of brother Marcin the eye of the storm for the accident in the Portuguese GP and for the two Long Lap Penalties that he will have to serve on his return from injury: “Honestly, I can’t say if he will be able to race in Austin. He’s fine and feels quite good. He had to miss Argentina twice, he’s not happy but these things happen”. These are the words of Alex Marquez who gave no certainty about Marc’s return for 16 April on the track where he won on seven occasions.
The words of Fabio Quartararo
He was also present at the meeting with journalists Quartararoone of the big disappointments of the Portimao race (eighth in the Sprint and tenth in the GP): “Optimism for Argentina? The pace was not bad, but Portimao’s first laps were difficult. We have to try to figure out what to improve, for do some overtaking. The qualification? Clearly we need to improve, the problem is similar in time attack and in competition. We have to figure out how improve in qualification, which is a very important element of the weekend. The potential is there, we can be very fast but we find it difficult to fight with the others. We can’t stay close to our rivals coming out of the corners, we hope to find a solution, there will be many races”. The Frenchman thus explained that he urgently needs to improve in qualifying and overtaking, while he showed a certain confidence in the race pace: a well-known concept at Yamaha. Quartararo has never achieved significant results at Termas de Rio Hondo, sixth place in 2017 in Moto3 being his best finish in Argentina and having finished eighth in MotoGP in both 2019 and 2022.
Zarco aims for the podium
Johann Zarco he was one of the protagonists of Sunday’s race in Portugal, having redeemed the opaque eighth position at the finish line of the Sprint with fourth place behind Bagnaia, Vinales and Bezzecchi. The Frenchman put on the track an exclamation point last lap, with a nice overtaking on Alex Marquez, as he recounted at the press conference: “It was a long race and with 11 laps to go I said to myself ‘it will be tough’, but gradually the feeling improved. It wasn’t easy to overtake, the moment was right in the last lap. Turn 11 where I overtook Alex could have been a good point, but I was wondering how to pass him. Seeing him a bit wide at 10 prompted me to give it a try and it went well”.
The French centaur of the Prima Pramac Racing team, who rides the Ducati Desmosedici GP23 on the track, hopes for a podium in Argentina on a circuit where he won in Moto2 in 2015 and finished second in MotoGP in 2018 at the time of the Yamaha Tech 3: “Starting the season like this gave me good motivation. Going through to Q2 saves you energy for Saturday, I lacked speed on the soft tyres. I could have done better in the Sprint, over a longer race I knew I was more consistent and close to the positions that matter. The objective here is also Q2 and the first two rows, hoping to reach the podium. I had half a flu in Portimao, which is taking a long time to pass. Here in Argentina I would like to have the pace for the podium, last year I expected a lot, but in free practice I didn’t do much on Saturday and on Sunday I was out of energy“, he concluded at the press conference.
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