We can’t always save!

“If we manage a good qualifying and maybe end up in row three, then we currently have what it takes for fifth, sixth or seventh place in the sprint. Nothing more!” This is how MotoGP superstar Marc Marquez assessed his chances after Friday’s training in Barcelona, ​​after he missed out on direct entry into Q2 for the second time in a row. Less than 24 hours later, the eight-time world champion failed again in Q1, not making it past 14th place on the grid – and yet at the end of the sprint he once again landed on the podium in second place. The next mega comeback, then, but Marquez knew how to correctly assess his situation after the sprint: “We won’t succeed every time!”

Instead, the 31-year-old Gresini driver went straight in search of answers. He couldn’t really explain his recovery after a disappointing qualifying: “After two or three laps on one tire, I feel better, we have to understand why. When the tire is completely new, I have big problems. That was the case during the winter tests, then it got a little better in the first races and now I’m suffering again. We have to start an in-depth analysis. If you start in the first two or three rows, it’s a different race.”

Marc Marquez: Even with the help of his brother Alex he had no chance in qualifying

In fact, many MotoGP fans are probably wondering what would be possible for Marquez these days if it weren’t for his current qualifying weakness. “My difference between fresh and used tires is smaller than that of the other riders. That was the case yesterday in training and again today in qualifying. I am Alex [Marquez, Anm.] because he offered it to me. He said that he had nothing to lose and that it would be more beneficial for the team if I made it to Q2. But even with his help we didn’t manage it,” the MotoGP superstar wonders.

Additional confusion was caused by Marquez damaging a wing on his car right at the start. Ducati GP23 after contact with Enea Bastianini. However, the bike did not actually slow down as a result. “Without this wing, I did not ride badly and felt good on the bike,” said the Catalan. “It is true that the balance was different. But one of my strengths is that I can adapt quickly to changing conditions.”

Marc Marquez fought his way up to second place, Photo: LAT Images
Marc Marquez fought his way up to second place, Photo: LAT Images

Setup change puts Marc Marquez on the right track: Unfortunately too late!

This probably explains Marquez’s comeback, because the Gresini rider finally admitted that his team had made a major setup change on Saturday morning. They switched more towards the other Ducatisti and were successful: “I rode it for the first time in Q1, that was the problem. In the race I continued with it and increasingly understood how to ride this motorcycle. Unfortunately too late because I’m only starting from 14th place now, but there’s a long race waiting for us tomorrow.”

24 laps are scheduled for the Catalonia Grand Prix, twice the distance of the sprint. Enough time, then, to start another comeback. On Saturday, he was only 0.892 seconds behind winner Aleix Espargaro, so could he still manage his first MotoGP victory since November 2021? Despite the problems from the early stages of the sprint, Marquez is ready to attack: “If you have to fight for three laps, you still have 21 laps to go after that.”

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