‘Marc Marquez is in his 30s now, it’s more difficult to adapt’

Marc Marquez is "not joking, not pretending" about difficulty adjusting to Ducati

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez’s adaptation to the Ducati may be more challenging because of his advancing years, Simon Crafar believes.

Marquez spent 11 seasons riding for Honda, winning eight world championships along the way.

But he has joined Gresini to ride a year-old Ducati in 2024, hoping he can fight for the MotoGP title on new machinery.

“He’s in his 30s now,” warned ex-racer Crafar from inside the Qatar testing paddock.

“From my own experience, it becomes more difficult to adapt.

“The younger you are, the quicker you can adapt to new bikes, tyres, set-ups.

“You can tell he’s not joking. He’s not pretending.

“He’s having difficulty changing from the Honda riding style to the Ducati riding style.

“But he’s going to do it!”

Remote video URL

Marquez, aged 31, had a fairly low-key preseason through Sepang and Qatar, after shining in the postseason test at Valencia on his Ducati debut last year.

His crash - his first on a Ducati - in the final hour of the final day of testing could be interpreted as Marquez finding more confidence to edge nearer to the limit of his new bike.

Crafar said on the final day of the test: “Whenever it comes to crunch time - which is now, the end of the test, you’ve got to put everything together and go - you can rely on Marc to pull something out.”

He said about the serenity within Ducati: “They are totally on target. There’s no chaos.

“All of the ‘23 Ducati riders - meaning Gresini and VR46 - are coming along, as well.

“You can tell that they are getting confident.

“The ones like Alex Marquez and Marco Bezzecchi, that rode the ‘22 last year, have said that they felt better on the ‘23 than the ‘22.

“Marc Marquez is making friends with it now.

“[On Monday] Marc didn’t look good. But I believe he had more.

“Because he only used three tyres out of nine. The fastest lap time was on a 20-something high-lap tyre.

“So you knew he had more in the bag. Sure enough, he showed it [on Tuesday].

“The ‘24 and ‘23 Ducatis look great.”

Marquez’s GP23 is the bike that was used by Francesco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin as they fought for the championship last year.

But factory Ducati rider Bagnaia and Pramac’s Martin have now stepped onto the GP24, which notably features a new fairing which every rider has now accepted is an advancement from last year’s bike.

Read More