What has happened to Marco Bezzecchi?

Marco Bezzecchi details his struggles on the GP23 after a torrid Qatar MotoGP

Marco Bezzecchi, Tissot sprint race, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 9 March
Marco Bezzecchi, Tissot sprint race, MotoGP, Qatar MotoGP, 9 March

Marco Bezzecchi’s bad start to 2024 is alarming.

Last year’s unexpected MotoGP title challenge and third-placed finish made him a breakthrough star.

But his adaptation from the GP22 last year to this season’s GP23 has been a struggle so far.

Bezzecchi finished 11th in the sprint race then 14th in the grand prix at the Qatar MotoGP.

"Unfortunately, it was a tough Sunday for me,” he was quoted by Motorsport.

“We had made a step in the warm-up and I was happy because I finally felt good enough on the bike.

“But then, as soon as the race started, I immediately had a lot of front lock and I have still not managed to explain why.

“At that point I started to lose feeling when braking and entering corners, so I started opening the throttle earlier because I was missing something in terms of speed.

"This led me to run out of rear tyre very early.

“I tried to manage the situation, but with 11 laps to go I had already moved onto map C, which is the one with less power, and there was still half the race to go.

"It was a very difficult weekend for me.

“We found some interesting things, but we also saw that it is very difficult to straighten out a weekend that starts off in the wrong way.

“In Portimao we hope to find a better base from Friday to do better on Saturday and Sunday too.”

Last season VR46’s Bezzecchi won three grands prix on the ‘22 Ducati.

This year he opted to stay with VR46 on a year-old bike rather than accept a step-up to Pramac, where he would have received the developed 2024 Desmosedici.

Looking around the grid, Marc Marquez is among the riders making much better progress than Bezzecchi on the same machinery.

"Obviously I look at the fastest, but the Marquez brothers and my teammate have the same bike as me and managed to be faster than me, both in terms of time attack and race pace,” Bezzecchi admitted.

“So I want to concentrate on them and study the data to understand what I'm missing and why, right now, I can't do what they do.”

Bezzecchi detailed his woes: "I have no feeling with the front tyre when braking, the bike doesn't turn and for this reason I lose speed when travelling and I open the throttle too late.

“Or I enter the corner too slow, precisely because the bike doesn't turn, so I open the throttle too early and in this way I run out of tyres.

“I'm struggling, but I'm working a lot, so I'll get there.

“It's a frustrating situation, but also motivating."

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