Marc Marquez’s stark honesty: “I will not be faster than in the past…”

Marc Marquez questioned about the new era of riders, his advancing years, and whether 'experience' counts

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez admits he cannot be faster than in his glory years, but warns that his experience can now make the difference.

Marquez enters the Portuguese MotoGP at Portimao this weekend still getting to grips with his new Ducati, his second round of racing since leaving Honda.

Although he already seems reinvigorated by a change of scenery and a more competitive bike, Marquez is now 31 years old - among the oldest riders on the grid - with a grim history of serious injuries.

Asked in Portimao if the older version of himself could be better than his younger self, Marquez answered: “What I do best? I have more experience.

“When I was younger, you are not conscious about what you are doing. Then sometimes it goes well.

“Now, you are more conservative in some points but using experience.

“Some people say: ‘After the injury he will be stronger!’

“I will not be faster than in the past. Because when you are younger, you have extra.

“But now you have experience and you must use it.

“For example, in Qatar I was calm. In preseason I was calm.

“I’ll make mistakes because we are human. But we’ll see if we can continue in this way to learn from the top guys inside the Ducati team.”

Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez developed a less-risky riding style last year, after a series of disastrous falls from his Honda.

He enters the Portimao weekend still adjusting to his year-old Desmosedici.

Now as one of MotoGP’s veteran riders, he shared a press conference with teenagers Pedro Acosta and Fermin Aldeguer.

Marquez said about being older: “More experience! Just days ago I was 20 years old, fighting with legends like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

“Now it’s the opposite. It’s a new experience. It’s the natural process of the sport.”

Marquez enjoyed an exciting duel with the prodigious Acosta at the season-opening Qatar MotoGP.

He said about the new generation: “I was using the elbow, now they use the shoulder!

“Riders play a lot with the body. You need to understand your riding style.

“For example, Aleix Espargaro is fast with an old-school style.

“You need to adapt with your performance, your bike and your team to find the best.

“When you jump from Moto2 to MotoGP, in the beginning you are fast because you have lots of corner speed. Then you have less corner speed but you manage the tyres better. “This is part of the process.

“When I arrived, at 20 years old, I learned from Valentino, Lorenzo and Dani.

“Now, I need to learn from the young guys.”

The factory Ducati duo and Pramac riders benefit from the updated Desmosedici this year.

Francesco Bagnaia won the first grand prix on the updated bike, while Jorge Martin won the first sprint.

Marquez, riding the year-old version, insisted: “I have what I have. Already, I feel better than last year.

“It’s a bike that I feel good on. Of course, the ‘24 will be better in some points.

“The ‘23, we have the experience of last year so we need to use it. And try to understand.

“I still haven’t discovered all the potential of the bike. I need to keep going and discover how to use the rear potential of the ‘23.”

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