Marc Marquez ‘curious’ for Sepang, unsure of Ducati riding style

Marc Marquez isn’t ruling out a return of his aggressive Honda riding style, despite a smooth mistake-free debut for Gresini Ducati at November’s Valencia MotoGP test.
Marc Marquez, 2024 livery
Marc Marquez, 2024 livery

The eight-time world champion admitted he felt ‘comfortable’ from his first run on the Desmosedici, but also cautioned that he is yet to test the limits of the bike.

“In Valencia I was riding very smooth but still we don’t know if that will be my riding style with Ducati,” said Marquez, who was a close fourth quickest at the test, during Saturday night’s Gresini team launch.

“It was the first test, I told them to just put the set-up of the others and not touch anything. Just I need to adapt.

“They touched some very small things to give me more confidence with the front, but I was riding smooth because I didn’t feel ready to ride aggressive and find the limit of the bike.

“I’m curious to try the bike in circuits like Malaysia and Qatar where I struggled a lot every year. Because Valencia normally I’m very fast every year.

But it was a good way to start.

“In Valencia, the lap time arrived because I felt comfortable with the bike from the first run.

“But also I was calm because I had only one bike in the garage. I mean I was used to having four [Honda] bikes at the Valencia test! I had only one and they said to me, ‘if you crash, you finish the test’.

“So I was calm, working step by step and feeling the bike. But I’m curious to see how I feel in Malaysia.”

While Marquez famously made up time on the brakes at Honda, the Ducati’s natural strength is on corner exit.

“It’s a different way to approach the lap, and the lap time,” Marquez said. “When you want to push, still I need to understand that point. But way to approach the corners is completely different.

“Of course, I need to say that Honda also has very strong points in some parts of the corner. But you cannot use the strong points that I was used to.

“Especially the exit of the corner was really good, really smooth [on the Ducati]. But still I need to learn the way to use more the extra power and extra grip we have.”

And no matter how good the bike is, Marquez – who fell a record 29 times last season - is adamant he will still need to take risks to succeed.

“You have to risk to find the limit, this is my style and I will keep doing this.

"The Ducati riders also fell a lot last season. So a bike has a limit. And you have to risk to go faster than the others.

“At the beginning I will try to go slow but I’m sure I’ll have the first crash in Malaysia or Qatar. I’d prefer in the tests than a race!”

The official Sepang test takes place from February 6-8, followed by the Qatar test on February 19-20. Marquez’s Ducati race debut will then take place at the same Lusail circuit on the weekend of March 8-10.

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