The Spaniard has been dogged by arm and eye injuries since the start of 2020, causing him to miss 23 races in the last three seasons.

Marquez still managed to take Honda’s only MotoGP wins during that period, courtesy of three victories in 2021, but it’s a far cry from the likes of 2019, when he finished first or second in all but one race.

“If you have the mentality of a winner then you are always applying ‘auto-pressure’. It always helps bring out a little more, especially in key moments,” Marquez said.

“Truthfully, in the last years I’ve missed that pressure, that auto-pressure.

Marquez is Running Out Of Time | World domination for Ducati | MotoGP Podcast EP.78

“Obviously, we haven’t started this season [yet] but we talk about the history of this team and, well, we have to fight for the title.

“We’ll see what happens during the races, but today we talk about the title and we’ll dream of it; either for me or Joan.”

New team-mate and 2020 world champion Joan Mir agreed that pressure is a key part of performance and ‘something that you need to try and enjoy’.

“Pressure is something that, if you are competing, you have to live with it. It’s clear that when you are riding for a team like this then it adds to the pressure,” said the former Suzuki rider.

“Having a winning mentality and then having this pressure, well, if you put more pressure on yourself than there is around you then it doesn’t affect you.

“Last year I also missed having some pressure and the positive pressure of fighting for a championship and had that negative pressure instead, where the results don’t arrive and the bike doesn’t work.

“The pressure is always something that you need to try and enjoy and every athlete needs to do it.”

What does Marquez need from the 2023 Honda?

As the only MotoGP manufacturer without a race win last season, it’s no secret that Honda has plenty of work to do for 2023.

Marquez had four different RC213Vs available at last month’s Sepang test, which he whittled down to one preferred version, but expects another step at the upcoming Portimao test.

“The concept of the bike is quite similar to last year where we were losing a lot on corner exit with traction and acceleration and this is where the engineers have been working most,” Marquez revealed.

“As riders, we can say what the problem is, and then it is down to the engineers to provide the solution. We are working to have a competitive bike generally.

“I’m convinced that what we had in Malaysia will be a bit different to what we’ll have in Portimao: Honda are working and I’m sure we’ll make another step.”

Marquez was only ranked tenth on the Sepang timesheets over a single lap, but - as things currently stand - feels he and the Honda should be able to fight in the top five at the Portimao season opener on March 24-26.

“It depends on the track where we start!” he replied, when asked to make a prediction. “If we start in Sachsenring then we’re starting in a good place, whereas if it was Malaysia then we’re in another!

“We’ll see but I think if we work well across the weekend in Portimao we’ll be inside this group of the five favourites.”

The Portimao test takes place on March 11-12.