Marc Marquez has resigned himself to an uphill struggle this weekend at the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.
Marquez has battled handling issues with the Honda throughout pre-season testing and although he made a big improvement on the final day of the Qatar test at the beginning of March, the two-time premier class champion isn't setting his expectations too high this weekend.
“This year has not been an easy pre-season as you saw on the results, but anyway we did a constant pace and in the last test here at Qatar we did a big step and we were closer,” Marquez said.
“Anyway, we know that we will struggle on this track because it is one of the worst tracks for us but the motivation of the race can always surprise these things and we will try to find a good pace.”
Marquez says he will have to wait until rounds two and three in Argentina and Austin before he has a clearer indication of his true competitiveness.
“In the test the times were really close and in the race, it will be close here because everybody has had a test here and has a good set-up,” he said.
“It will be a nice race, but after when we go to Argentina and to Austin we will see more of the difference and where we are.
“It looks like [the most competitive MotoGP season ever]. Especially in the tests it was really close with Ducati, Suzuki also – it looks like they are very fast and very constant also so it's important for the championship and good for the show.”