Marc Marquez starts “last push” warns “Sepang will be tough”

Marc Marquez begins his final three races as a Repsol Honda MotoGP rider in Malaysia this weekend.

The eight-time world champion, now just three weeks away from his Gresini Ducati debut at the Valencia post-season test on November 28, will start his “last push of the year” at the familiar Sepang circuit on Friday.

However, Marquez, tenth fastest at February’s pre-season test, warned the long corners at the Malaysian track mean it could be tough to repeat his competitive 4-6 form at the recent Thai round.

“Back to work and back for the last push of the year, it will be a very intense three races,” said Marquez, referring to the Sepang-Qatar-Valencia triple header. “The first one we face is Sepang, a circuit which always presents a challenge for us.

“We have been strong at a few of the last races, but I think honestly in Sepang it will be tough. The longer corners have been more difficult for us this year but of course we will keep on trying and seeing what’s possible.

“Let’s make sure it’s a good one and kickstart the end of 2023!”

While Marquez, who took until Austria to finish a Sunday race this season, has scored points in seven of the eight GPs since, team-mate Joan Mir feels poor qualifying is a major reason for his three points finishers over the same period.

“Although the results on paper maybe don’t show it fully, we have been coming better and better over the last few weeks,” he said.

“Coming back to Malaysia, we have some information from the test but more than anything it will be a good opportunity to see how we have progressed since the start of the year.

“It’s another triple so we need to keep our focus and make the most of all the opportunities that present themselves to us.”

Repsol Honda is yet to announce Marquez’s 2024 replacement, but Fabio di Giannantonio left Buriram hinting at possible ‘good news’ in Malaysia.

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