“Next step” clue by Marc Marquez’s crew chief offers hint for COTA

Marc Marquez knows the weak area he must improve upon to return to glory at COTA...
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez’s crew chief has offered a pretty big clue about how they can claw themselves closer to the front in MotoGP.

The first two rounds of the 2024 season have been an impressive indication of Marquez’s ability on a Ducati, having left Honda.

He was fourth in the Qatar grand prix then on the podium in the Portimao sprint.

But Marquez was knocked down by Francesco Bagnaia in the Portuguese MotoGP as they fought for fifth, and ended up 16th.

“Unfortunate end,” his crew chief Frankie Carchedi posted to social media.

“Some big positives from the weekend. The next step is to start closer to the front and get clean air… step by step.

“Can have the best race pace, however in a race situation it’s very different.

“Being at the back of the front group the front overheats.

“We struggled for speed from the last corner and most passes today were in T1. Qp made it tough. Next step is clear!”

Gresini rider Marquez made the Portimao weekend difficult for himself after qualifying in eighth.

A year earlier he had qualified in pole position at the same circuit on a Honda


He was in contention to claim a front row start again, but he lost the front of his Ducati during qualifying. On a second bike, he salvaged P8, which was scant consolation for the pace he had hinted at previously.

Clearly, that early error undermined Marquez’s two races in Portimao, his crew chief believes.

The third round of the MotoGP season is a fortnight away at the Circuit of the Americas.

The April 12-14 event will now see Marquez apply extra focus to his Saturday qualifying runs to avoid the mistake which hampered him in Portugal.

His crash in Portimao qualifying meant that the excellent race pace he later demonstrated could not be used to its full potential.

COTA is one of Marquez’s favourite circuits, a track he has previously dominated.

He won at COTA six years in a row from 2013-18.

Given his eye-catching first laps on the year-old Ducati, the upcoming COTA round will have Marquez fans salivating and his critics a little worried…

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