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Marc Marquez (Ducati/P5): “My favorite is Alex” / MotoGP

Marc Marquez (Ducati/P5): “My favorite is Alex” / MotoGP

A strong start to Gresini's career at the Doha Sprint: how Marc Marquez rates his performance, how well he controls himself, and why the tires will be crucial tomorrow.

The old smile came back after the race. According to Marc Márquez, the season started well: “Am I satisfied? I have to be happy, and above all I have to be realistic. Yes, of course I would have preferred to finish ahead. Did I want more? Yes. Did I do that? No. It was “Four riders are faster than me today. I have to accept that.”

But even by his high standards, there were a few laps in the sprint that he had nothing to complain about: “Midway through the race, I felt really good and made time on the front runners. But I put too much pressure on the tires and ended up paying a fee for it.” . The problem was not wear, but temperature – front and rear, while winner Martin only overheated the rear tire due to his even driving after the start. With the exception of Aleix Espargaro, all the drivers at the front had to suffer from the Michelin overheating, says Marquez.

The question of all questions: How much does it still retain the old Honda instincts? Mark has to think for a moment: “In the last sector of qualifying, I drove on instinct and immediately lost a few tenths. This was Honda's style again. But I was controlling myself in the race. However, he made a mistake on the first lap.” This What happens when you don't have blind confidence in your motorcycle yet.” He mentions the fight with Fabio Di Giannantonio, in which the lead changed several times. “It took a while because I didn't dare to attack from the beginning as I should have.”

The eight-time world champion had an amazing experience for him: “You can actually overtake on the straights! In the past, I didn't usually have that luxury,” he smiled. “That makes things easier. I caught three drivers today.” He estimates his current driving deficit to be 2.3 tenths per lap compared to his brand-mates Martin and Bagnaia. The switch from Honda to Gresini still felt right after the first race. “I've always said I want to be in the top five or six. Then I know I can compete.

The fact that he has never lost sight of the front on a path that has not suited him at all in recent years gives hope for the future. Anyway, Mark has named the favorite for tomorrow's Grand Prix – and it stands to reason that it's not him: “For me, Alex is the favourite. He has the best cards for the whole race because his tires are running more stable. The Ducati might be faster on the straights, But the Aprilia has cornering speed.