Marc Marquez: “Expectations vs reality”, Bagnaia and Martin “super fast”

Marc Marquez did his best to play down expectations for his debut Gresini Ducati MotoGP season, insisting it will ‘not be normal’ to be at the same level as Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin from round one.
Marc Marquez, 2024 livery
Marc Marquez, 2024 livery

Nonetheless, having been a competitive fourth fastest during his Ducati debut at November’s Valencia test, Marquez is now the bookmakers’ favourite for the 2024 title, ahead of reigning double champion Bagnaia and runner-up Martin.

Speaking at Saturday night’s team launch in Riccione, where Gresini became the first team to unveil its 2024 livery, former Repsol Honda star Marquez said:

“My approach is to try to be fast on the racetrack and if I can be one-tenth faster I will try to do it. But it’s also about expectations vs reality.

“Of course, expectations are super high from the people. But my job is to try to forget about all the expectations and work in my garage because I need to be calm. Especially at the beginning.

“Calm doesn’t mean not being fast. Of course, I will try and would like to be fast, but I cannot pretend to fight for victory from the beginning because the last four years were a nightmare for me.

“In the last two years, I wasn’t able to win a race and now I arrive to a bike that especially two riders, Bagnaia and Martin, have spent many years on and won many races and championships.

“So they are super-fast and they will have the 2024 bike - the same bike [as me], we can say - but when you arrive you cannot pretend to be on the same level [as them].

“Or it will not be the normal thing to be on the same level with them [straight away]…”

Marquez, whose MotoGP career has been anything but normal with six titles and 59 victories for Honda, will race a GP23 spec Ducati alongside brother Alex this season.

Bagnaia and Martin will be among those with access to the latest 2024 version.

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