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Marc Márquez: “I still find it hard to understand what’s happening to me with the Honda”

Jun 4, 21 | 01:00 PM
Marc Márquez, Honda, MotoGP
Photo: motogp.com
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Joan Marc Voces Soriano
motosangp.com editor – Life is Racing

"There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one." Joey Dunlop

Marc Márquez faces his home Grand Prix in Catalunya after crashing out of two races in a row. He’ll try to bounce back in the first race of the season with spectators.

Marc Márquez is ready to tackle the new Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The 8-Times World Champion had an impressive comeback on his first race in 2021, but he couldn’t complete his last two races, in Le Mans and Mugello.

“Mugello was a difficult weekend for me, as all of them since I came back to competition. Anyway, we’ll see what this race awaits and we’ll try to step up and keep progressing, specially to know if we’re able to improve on feeling, because the result is not something that worries me right now”.

As recovery continues, Marc Márquez is finding out his bike is much more physical than he remembered. “Maybe when you come back what you feel the most is that you’re ready to come back, but what surprised me the most is how demanding a MotoGP is. Sometimes, when you’re at home for a long time you forget how demanding it is and you can feel more or less ready on the gym, but when you go on the bike you have all those lateral forces that you can’t replicate on a gym”.

“I could do a lot of laps on a street bike, but with a MotoGP I couldn’t do many with my aggressive style and that’s the kind of things you forget when you’re at home. They’re demanding, you’re with the best bikes and the best riders and, in the end, you have to be on a 100% to think of doing something positive”.

Understanding the bike

“It was difficult and I still find it hard to understand what’s happening to me with the Honda, as I started with the improvements all Honda riders introduced last year, but I rode the bike without understanding it and didn’t feel right, so we decided to go back to the bike we had in Jerez 2020. I felt better, but I still didn’t understand it fully and at the end I though I needed laps and change a few things on the bike to improve tenth per tenth, but I really feel if I’m riding fresh or tired”, Márquez pointed out.

“It’s something I didn’t feel last year, same of the first practice sessions. Now I feel these differences between one day and the next one and it looks like the feeling changes. The bike hasn’t changed, but I did. Looks like I changed to compensate with my left arm what I’m missing on my right one. Sometimes, I push too much to the left and you have to accept it, just like other riders are going faster than you and we have to keep going on if we want to be on the same level as before”.

Honda’s development

Márquez feels the Honda has lost something that used to make it a winning bike, that at the same time is comfortable for the riders. Honda was, in the last years, a difficult bike but a winning one, and now it’s on the same level, but it’s a difficult bike. The potential is there, so the fact that last year neither I was on track nor Crutchlow was on the same level could have made us lose a year to keep up with out rivals”.

“Honda is working to bing all their riders a good bike, better and easier to ride, but it’s true that I realized it’s a bike that if you have some physical issue it affects your performance on the bike too. I think if your on good physical condition it still is a bike to win races”.

Marc Márquez on his home Grand Prix

The Catalan Grand Prix will not only be special because it’s a very familiar track for4 Márquez, but because it’s the very first race with spectators since the COVID-19 pandemic halted the world. “It’s normal and fantastic for everyone to have spectators, it’s a natural step and very good news. It’s good that it’s in Spain, in Barcelona; we’ve seen it with football and, little by little, gates are opening”.

Despite this, he doesn’t think fans will influence much on his development problems, but will be a great sight on the race. “I think what’s important is going to be the riding style. That won’t be affected, but emotions will on the last laps because of the feeling you get from seeing fans on the grandstands”.

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