Marc Marquez: “Honda riders aimed at me, I’ll do the same with Bagnaia, Martin”

Marc Marquez plans to target Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin, in the same way that incoming Honda riders would target him.
Marc Marquez: “Honda riders aimed at me, I’ll do the same with Bagnaia, Martin”

Marquez was unveiled alongside his brother Alex Marquez in the blue of Gresini Racing at the weekend, showing off the Ducati which he hopes will restore him to the front of MotoGP.

But chief among the new issues that Marquez will face is his seven fellow Ducati riders, including last season’s champion Bagnaia and runner-up Martin.

"Logically when the new riders arrived in Honda they ‘aimed’ at me,” he told Sky at the Gresini launch. 

“Now I will do the same with Bagnaia and Martin who are the two strongest and who are making the difference. 

“I have to learn a lot of things from the two of them to understand how to ride this bike.”

Marquez will ride a GP23 this season, the bike which Bagnaia and Martin rode as they battled over last year’s championship.

The factory Ducati and Pramac riders will step onto a new GP24.

Marquez added: “Toughest opponent? In the end I'm worried more about myself, because I have to manage myself. 

“We have a lot of work to do, the expectations are very high but I want to start calmly: if you eat too fast, then you get indigestion." 

He said about his new team: "They took a risk with me, they waited for my decision until October.”

Marquez has been tipped by riders from up and down the grid to immediately fight for the 2024 championship, now he is rid of the Honda that held him back.

"I want to have fun again,” he insisted. “I won a lot but the last 3-4 years were very difficult for me and I was looking for something different, to have fun on a motorbike again. 

“The Gresini team was the only one who waited for me and gave me my time, when it saw me ready, it chose me. 

“It's a risky challenge for me but the Gresini family is very beautiful, a team that has a lot of history. 

“What if I aim for the World Championship? I'm coming from difficult years and I haven't won in a long time. 

“I prefer to create the base slowly then we'll see where we get. 

“But today I can't have a clear objective."

He shone on his Ducati debut at the postseason Valencia test, a run-out which has whet the appetite for the upcoming season.

"I was only able to do 50 laps with the new bike but I felt good,” Marquez said. 

“I rode cleanly, I wasn't yet in a position to be aggressive in Valencia. 

“I'm curious, I have a lot of determination to get to the tests in Malaysia and do a lot of laps. 

“I'm like a child with new shoes, that's what they say in Spain!”

The Marquez brothers will be teammates again for the first time since early-2020, before Marc’s injury issues ended that period early.

“I always wish Alex the best,” Marc said.

“What I always tell him is that he must think that he is very strong, he is a two-time world champion, and I am sure he will do well this year.”

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