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Marc Marquez (Ducati/P4): Near podium collision/MotoGP

Marc Marquez (Ducati/P4): Near podium collision/MotoGP

Marc Marquez can look back with satisfaction on his first Gresini Ducati racing weekend. Fourth place in the Grand Prix, Bagnaia winner always in sight – you can build on that.

After finishing fifth yesterday, the six-time MotoGP World Champion moved up one place in the Qatar Grand Prix: 3.4 seconds behind winner Bagnaia, and just a second and a half away from the podium. So Marc Marquez was happy: “Very strong weekend. I didn't do anything crazy from Friday to Sunday. Today there was an improvement in that my start was better. We worked intensively on that with the team yesterday. If I get off to a good start, things will be fine.” Much easier to race.”

Tire management has never been easy: “It was also announced yesterday that I will have to pay equal attention to the front and rear tires. My riding style is still in charge. I still have to learn more about Ducati.” How long can this take? “Portimão should be a good indicator. I was able to audition in Sepang and here, which of course helped me a lot. In Portugal I start from scratch. What makes me optimistic: I'm learning step by step. A tenth of a second here, a tenth of a second there.” He freely admits that he's not as quick on a Ducati as Bagnaia and Martin. And it's not just because, unlike him, they have 2,024 bikes: “One is world champion and the other is second. They were actually the fastest riders with Ducati last year. No, I'm happy with my material and the team.” Part of today's deficit was due to his team's conservative approach: “You don't know my racing style yet, so we took the safe route when it comes to tire pressure in order to avoid a minimum pressure penalty at all costs.”

And he learned something else from the past: “In the last 10 laps I started to attack something. But in the last two laps, I reduced the pressure because I felt like I was closer to crashing than the podium. I'd rather give up some points and try again in Portimão.”