Alex Marquez: ‘Everyone starts from zero, but Marc’s the favourite’

While everyone starts a new MotoGP season ‘equal, from zero’, new Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez tips brother Marc as the 2023 title favourite.
Alex Marquez in 2023 Gresini Ducati colours
Alex Marquez in 2023 Gresini Ducati colours

Although Marc Marquez has only won three races since 2019 due to arm and eye injuries, Alex has no doubt the #93 remains “the best on the grid” and that his past record speaks for itself.

Following the retirement of Jorge Lorenzo (end of 2019) and Valentino Rossi (end of 2021), Marquez is the only current premier-class rider with more than one MotoGP title to his credit.

The Repsol Honda star claimed the world championship six times between 2013 and 2019, with the title then rotating between Joan Mir (Suzuki), Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) and the newly crowned Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati).

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“When you start a season you are equal with everybody. It doesn't matter the name, doesn't matter the bike, everybody starts from zero,” said Alex, shortly after joining team-mate Fabio di Giannantonio in unveiling Gresini's 2023 MotoGP colours.

“It's true that Ducati is coming from a really good year, Honda [from] a struggling year. They had a lot of problems last year and I suffered with those problems!

“But as I said, we start the new season with everybody equal.

“Marc as a rider, we know that he's the best on the grid. It’s like this and he's the guy with more world championships in the pocket. So for sure, I think he will be the favourite this year.

“I see him training a lot. I'm not feeling better or worse than him [now I have a Ducati]… I’m just trying to improve and learn some things from him, because he's my brother."

Alex Marquez, 26, took Honda’s only MotoGP podiums as a rookie at the factory team in 2020, following Marc’s arm injury, but made only two top-six appearances during the next two years at LCR.

Despite leaving Honda for Ducati this season, Alex has continued to train closely with his brother.

“Training has been like every year,” he said. “For sure I tried personally to improve some things that I had in mind, also after I tried the [Ducati] in Valencia. I know which area I need to work a little bit on but the work and the atmosphere training with my brother is always the same.

“We are professionals. We know that we need to separate the things on track, but also I have the best reference for me to train. That is Marc. He’s really fast always; on motocross, on flat track, on karting.

“So we always enjoy that training and this will not change. We're professional and the info on MotoGP we will not share for sure, but outside we are brothers and we share our training like we have all our life.”


‘A really great sign’

The former Moto3 and Moto2 world champion takes over the Gresini seat of last year’s four-time MotoGP race winner Enea Bastianini, who finished third overall in the world championship.

Marquez made his debut on the GP22 at last November’s Valencia test when, although only 15th fastest, he was just 0.680s from the top and had almost instantly matched his lap times from the race weekend with Honda.

“[Ducati and Honda are] very different bikes and what I didn't expect was to be already, in the first run, in the same lap times like Honda or even faster with a medium rear time,” Marquez said.

“I was not feeling really good on the bike because the position and all this was really different compared to the Honda. So I was not riding with a lot of confidence, but the lap times were coming from the first run and this is a really great sign for me.

“When you are not feeling good, but the lap times are coming is something great.

“I was feeling really easy with the engine, the power delivery and all this. Still I rode for another manufacturer for three years and I have some things on my riding style that I will need to change, but this is normal.

“I will need to learn different things compared with riders that have been on the bike for some years and also just copy some things [from them]. So it will be a really interesting pre-season for me to try to adapt and be ready for the first race in Portimao.”

Marquez and di Giannantonio will be back on their Desmosedici GP22s when pre-season testing kicks off at Sepang in Malaysia next month.

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