The one we see in 2023 is a completely different Alex Marquez, the new adventure with Ducati and with the Gresini team stimulates the Spanish rider and has brought him back to having fun on the bike after a difficult period in Honda. It can also be seen from the results on the track, the youngest of the Marquez brothers finished the two days of testing in Portimao with the 7th fastest time.
Second positive day for Alex Marquez, who despite having suffered two crashes did not go beyond 434 thousandths of a delay from Pecco Bagnaia’s stratospheric time. And he too, just like the reigning world champion, fell below the track record. This Ducati makes him have fun and the Gresini rider is enthusiastic.
The two days of testing in Portimao were very fruitful and the Spanish rider believes that the two crashes were also a positive aspect, because with those he understood where the GP22 limit is: “I had a lot of fun in these two days. I also had fun in Malaysia, but even more here. We tried some set-up things on Saturday, but for Sunday we decided it was better to focus on my riding style and try to get the most out of it, and that’s what I did.” .
“I had my first crash with a Ducati and it’s also a positive thing, because up to that point it seemed to me that everything was possible with this bike, but there is a limit and you have to understand that. It was also good to understand that in testing rather than during a race weekend. There is still something to do to improve, but I feel ready to start the season”, continued Marquez.
The Gresini standard bearer then went into detail, explaining the two crashes on the second day of testing: “I had two crashes, the first at turn 10, I was coming a little wide from 9 but I tried to insert it anyway. I had the average at the rear and I was going very fast. Up to that point I hadn’t felt anything and I made a mistake in the trajectory. In the second crash I was trying the Sprint Race, I was on the last lap and I was giving everything. I went too wide and I went wide on the curb. It went well, the crash was small and in the end nothing happened because I went back to the pits with the bike!”.
Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing crashed Ducati
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
The championship starts in two weeks, but as of today Marquez already feels ready. Strengthened by the work done and the bike with which he immediately felt at ease, the Spaniard makes a first prediction: “I think that if there had been a race today, on paper I would have raced for a top five. Maybe I’m not ready for the win or for the podium, but the top five is within my reach. Then in the races everything can change, so we’ll see later, but today it was a realistic goal.”
The big news for 2023 will be the Sprint Race, which all the riders simulated during these test days. One more race will be physically and mentally demanding: “The preparation is very similar. I feel good physically. They are two different bikes of course, but nothing special. Every year we try to improve more and more, but because as a driver I always want to be at the top. Mentally it will be different. Usually when the race ends it means you’re on vacation. It will be important on Saturday not to get too caught up in the enthusiasm of having had a good race, perhaps. We need to stay focused on Sunday, but I think I’ll always try to enjoy myself. Ducati is very strong both in terms of pace and one flying lap, so it will be a good thing for us.”
“I did the Sprint Race simulation with new tires, and with the soft on the rear. I tried to push hard to see how the tires dropped, trying to keep up with the pace. Maybe I pushed too hard at the start, but in reality it was what I had to do. I think that in terms of strategy, he will give himself the maximum gas from start to finish. In normal races you take it differently, you manage everything. Physically it is demanding, because you have to push a lot, “explained Alex Marquez.
Finally, there is also a comparison with his brother who is instead going through a moment of technical difficulty. Now the two race for different manufacturers and, with the exception of some sporadic comments, Alex Marquez said that he doesn’t go into much detail: “Marc didn’t say much to tell the truth, we were both tired. He just looked at me and said ‘you were fast, right?’ He tried many things and not all of them worked. I’d say they exchange some superficial comments, because we race for two different manufacturers. They are struggling, they are in trouble. But I know Marc and I know that on the race weekends he will put in his ”.
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