Alex Marquez: We need to pay more attention to qualifying

Alex Marquez: 'If you start from the first two rows, the race is completely different.'


Alex Marquez felt he paid a price for qualifying just ninth on the grid during the Qatar MotoGP season opener.

The Gresini Ducati rider shot to the top of Saturday practice but wasn’t able to “put together the perfect lap” in Q2, leaving him 0.477s from pole and starting from the back of the third row.

Marquez finished seventh in the Saturday Sprint before going one better in the grand prix, crossing the line 1.5s from factory Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and 3.3s behind older brother and new team-mate Marc Marquez.

“It was a solid start to the season,” Alex Marquez said. “We are where we left off [last year], close to the top five, close to the podium.

“Qualifying aside, we put together a strong weekend. I managed to stay with the top riders in the race and play my cards.

“It was hard to attack, especially due to the high temperatures at the front [tyre]. But starting from P9, it's what you have.

“So we need to improve a little bit in Portimao and pay more attention to qualifying, to not make the same mistake as here and be in the first two rows.

“If you start from there, the race is completely different.”

Alex Marquez will begin round two in Portugal next weekend holding seventh in the world championship, as the second-best GP23 rider after Marc.

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