Marc Marquez “riding Ducati like a Honda, I need to take out 11 years of habit”

Marc Marquez says "I am still riding the Ducati like a Honda"

Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February
Marc Marquez, Sepang MotoGP test, 7 February

Marc Marquez has agreed with Luca Marini’s description of the Ducati and the Honda requiring opposite approaches to handle the rear tyre.

New Gresini Ducati recruit Marquez has detailed his difficulties in adjusting to a new bike after spending so long with the same manufacturer.

Marini, who went in the opposite direction from Ducati to Honda, has claimed at the MotoGP Sepang test that he is learning how to tame aspects of his new bike.

“Completely agree. It’s completely different, the way to use the rear tyre,” Marquez said after the second day (Wednesday) of testing in Sepang.

“For that reason, I am still riding the Ducati like a Honda.

“In Valencia it was okay. But here? No.

“I need to take out the habit of 11 years with one bike. This is difficult.

“Especially when you are in a rhythm it is easier, because you have more time.

“On a time attack, you are not thinking. You go by instinct.

“If I ride by instinct, I ride it like a Honda. That is not the best way to ride this bike.

Step by step. It is a process.”

Remote video URL

Marquez was only 14th-fastest on Wednesday, +0.984s behind leader Enea Bastianini.

Sepang has been a far more humbling experience for the eight-time world champion than the postseason Valencia test where he shone on his Ducati debut.

Marquez will ride the GP23 this season, while factory Ducati and Pramac rivals step onto the latest-spec version.

And in Sepang, his Ducati is still running a general 'standard' set-up, to allow him to grow into his new surroundings.

“I was using a standard setting from the other Ducati riders,” Marquez said.

“I don’t want to lose the way. I don’t want to go to another set-up.

“Because this set-up is what I used yesterday. Today it worked better. This means I understand the bike better.

“We are trying a few things. My technician is trying to understand my riding style.

“We did some big changes today on the bike. Some positive, some negative.

“In the end, we are riding with a very standard set-up.”

But when Marquez was asked if he was struggling to stop the Ducati, he explained: “It’s true that the way to stop the Ducati bike is different.

“But, on the braking point, I am not losing. I am gaining compared to the other Ducati riders.

“I need to understand the rear grip. It’s a lot, but you need to understand how to use.

“With a used tyre I am able to be at a good pace but, still, I do not take enough profit.

“But stopping the bike? Step by step I understand better and better. I was struggling, then in the second part of the day, I was better.

“At the moment, I am losing more on the exit of the corner. Especially the fast corners. On slow corners, I am fast.

“But on fast corners you need to have the confidence in the bike to push. It’s there where, still, I am struggling.

“Still, I am stiff on the bike. Today I started to enjoy it a bit. That’s why I did 10 laps in a row.

“At the moment, I need laps. Maybe I did too much because tomorrow I will feel it!”

Thursday is the final day of the Sepang test.

Marquez’s plan: “Tomorrow all the riders will do a time attack in the morning.

“I will try to concentrate because this is where I suffer more. I am far from the top guys.

“But this is the normal procedure. It was not normal in Valencia when immediately I was fast. Normal procedure, when you take a new bike, is understanding new things.

“With a used tyre it is easier to understand because you have 15 laps to work.

“The programme will be to do a time attack. I was planning to do another long run but I don’t know! I am feeling the physical condition!”

Read More