Did Marc Marquez have an unseen tech issue on the grid rescued by Qatar restart?

Marc Marquez's crew chief clarifies the truth after a question about a tech issue on the starting grid

Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March
Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March

Marc Marquez's crew chief has insisted that he did not have a technical problem before the Qatar MotoGP.

Marquez did not clarify when asked if he was experiencing a problem with his ride height device on the starting grid - before a restart was triggered by Raul Fernandez.

The delay of approximately 10 minutes allowed engineers from every team to get an additional look at the bikes.

TV replays appeared to show Marquez fiddling with his dashboard or handlebars during the delay.

But Frankie Carchedi, his crew chief, confirmed on social media: "No, bike needed stands and warmers on because the bikes were left for about seven minutes before they started."

When asked by TNT Sports afterwards if he experienced a tech issue, Marquez said: “My biggest problem? The tyre management was for the front.

“Most of the riders manage the rear but I managed the front.

“My riding style, I push the front a lot. Still we need to find the correct balance to save the front. I was riding in a good way.”

The restart was an anti-climatic moment before the 2024 MotoGP season-opener caused by Trackhouse rider Fernandez.

It forced every rider on the starting grid to re-focus and prepare again.

Marquez reacted to Fernandez’s error: “It’s the first race and everybody is super nervous.

“But you know as a rider that if you stop the bike on the grid, then you need to go out, as soon as possible, so at least the others can restart the race.”

Marquez’s first MotoGP round as a Gresini Ducati rider concluded with P5 in the sprint race and P4 in the grand prix.

Although the two wins were shared by Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia, last year’s title rivals, there is hope for Marquez.

“Yes, I am super happy about my weekend,” he said.

“And happy with the team too, because they did good work. I was looking for [the top five].

“When I did a good start and a good first lap, I understood that maybe it was possible.

“But honestly I was always watching the podium because I was super close. For most of the race I was riding in fourth position.

“It was difficult but I tried to manage the tyres in a good way. In the last laps I pushed, but the others pushed too. It was not possible.

“But we understood a few things, I learned more about the race weekend, about how to manage the tyres. We need to keep going step by step.

“For me, Portimao will be important. Why? Because in the Malaysia and Qatar tests I took a lot of time to get into rhythm.

“Let’s see in Portimao if I can be, straight away, on a good pace. In Qatar it helped me that we had a test here two weeks ago. Portimao will be different.”

MotoGP returns in Portimao on March 22-24.

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