“This weekend is mainly a test for 2023, the battle between Beco and Fabio will be fun”

Marc Marquez during a press conference at the Sepang International Circuit | © Dorna

Marc Marquez finished on the podium for the first time in 357 days after last Sunday’s MotoGP race. The Spaniard appears to be going from strength to strength since his return from a fourth operation and will mainly use the Malaysian Grand Prix to work on next season.

Since his return to the MotoGP class, Marc Marquez has immediately proven to be one of the trendsetters. At Motorland Aragón he was admittedly (accidentally) the trigger for Fabio Quartararo and Takaaki Nakagami’s crash, before taking pole position for the first time in a year in Japan a week later.

A week later at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand, the Spaniard contested the podium in wet conditions but found the pace again in the dry. Last weekend in Australia, the eight-time world champion qualified second, 0.013s off pole position, fighting for victory until the end of the race, eventually finishing second.

It was his first podium finish in less than a year and the Repsol Honda Team rider showed he can compete with strong riders throughout the race. Marc Marquez has also shown that the Honda RC213V can do things that his colleagues cannot. Despite missing the Grand Prix of Indonesia, Argentina, Catalunya, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, Austria and San Marino (and a zero score in Aragon), the eight-time world champion has 104 points to his name, fifty points more. 54 points ahead of Repsol Honda teammate Pol Espargaro and brother Alex Marquez.

However, Marc Marquez admitted that the course of the race at Phillip Island suited him. The pace was relatively slow, which allowed the Spaniard to save his soft-compound rear tire and not have to push 100% to keep up. The coming weekend at the Sepang International Circuit will, for him, be a more difficult story, but he already expects to be able to compete for victory in Valencia.

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Marc Marquez answered a number of questions from reporters at the press conference.

What does the Australia result mean for you and the team?

Mark Marquez: “Yes, of course, we bring some positive energy and some extra motivation from Australia. When the driver, Honda and the engineers work so hard, it means a lot when the team suffers. I struggled at home, but when they suffer on the track all season and then get good results. – Already fighting for the pole in Japan, the leading drivers and the podium in Thailand, Australia, that means a lot. It’s important, it’s a boost for next year. It’s true that we’re really coming back to where we are because Australia is a very special circuit and one of my favorite circuits, but for 2023 we Let’s keep working. My main goal is to continue that positive evolution and I’ve achieved that.”

Is it difficult to maintain a balance between working towards 2023 and focusing now?

Mark Marquez: “At Phillip Island we had a lot of new stuff, we tried it on Friday and then on Saturday I insisted on changing the plan because I saw that it was possible to get a good result. I said, “Please, I want to focus on the race” and then we forgot the plan and went on the weekend. We pay more attention to the end.
But Malaysia is a good circuit to try new things, I will try some new things tomorrow, weather permitting we will continue, I will continue new things because it is important, it is the deadline for the Valencia test. I’m going to try my best, we’ll go out on the track and take risks, but always remember to try new things.”

Are they things you’ve already tried or something new this weekend?

Mark Marquez: “I didn’t try all these things in Australia. For example, the wings on the back of the engine, but that’s just one example, there are things you can’t see, I can’t say that. I tried once and we didn’t get any good information, so I’ll try here, but we have some weird stuff that someone at Honda needs to try and we don’t have time, so we have to do it. I take on this role on race weekend.

Will this be the biggest physical test since the fourth surgery?

Mark Marquez: “As I said in Thailand, after three races in a row, I felt I needed a rest. In Australia I felt a big improvement when I got on the bike. Not only in the Australian GP, ​​but the way the muscles recovered from Australia to Malaysia was faster, and the muscles loosen up better. Because of the hot conditions this The circuit is very difficult and demanding, but we are ready to fight, I don’t want to think about the hand anymore, it is true that we will improve, especially in the winter, but I will try to give my 100% as it is now.

How do you feel about the championship that will be decided this weekend?

Mark Marquez: “Yes it is the first opportunity for Beko, he has a big chance to do here. But I would say it’s Fabio’s last chance so he has to react and I expect him to react as the defending champion. It will be good to see how they push Fabio all weekend, especially as we did in Australia, but he will have to take a real risk here if he wants to have a chance in Valencia.

The first free practice for the MotoGP class at Sepang International Circuit will start on Friday morning at 10:55 AM local time, 04:55 AM Dutch time.


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