Marc Marquez closed the first day of the Qatar GP in second position in the times table, the first round of the season. After the first two free practice sessions, the Spaniard was able to verify the step forward of the new RC213V that Honda has brought this year, making it available to the four riders.
“In terms of pace, I expected something similar, but on the flying lap I didn’t expect to go that fast. I’m happy with the way we are doing, but I still drive a little weird, ”explained the eight-time world champion at the end of the day. After verifying that Honda has technically made some noticeable improvements, the biggest concern with Marquez is the physical aspect that has kept him out of the fight for nearly two years.
“Physically I have improved a lot. Now I have to see how the situation evolves throughout the weekend. Today I rode without being affected by the arm in the slightest. I drove painlessly, better than in all last year. All of us riders have problems, but pain is something else ”, argued the rider from Cervera.
The characteristics of the new bike, as well as the pains in his right shoulder, forced Marc to partially change his riding style: “Now I’m not that fast when entering corners, I don’t have the feeling of going fast, but the times come out. . If I am aggressive I go slower. The only brand that could have made such a radical change on the bike is Honda, but in Qatar we are still not the fastest, ”he said.
Despite the good feelings, Marquez does not want to launch any proclamations and prefers to remain cautious, especially as regards Ducati, in the eye of the storm at the start of the season: “I will keep my opinion on Ducati until Sunday after the race. It is the first of the year and today is only Friday. I don’t trust Ducati at all ”.
Waiting for Ducati to take the step forward, certainly on Saturday, Marc thinks that at the moment the Suzuki and the Yamahas are the most dangerous rivals: “The Suzukis are very strong and in terms of top speed they have gained a lot. Joan Mir and Alex Rins can score two goals and then there’s Fabio Quartararo ”.
The Lusail circuit has never been particularly favorable to either Honda or Marc: “On this track I suffer both for the bike and for my riding. If we want to fight for the podium we have to improve by two tenths ”.
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