“Mentality switch” prediction as Marc Marquez tipped for COTA glory

"If Marc Marquez doesn’t win at least one of the races he would leave COTA disappointed"
Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has been tipped for various levels of glory at COTA this weekend on the latest episode of the Crash MotoGP podcast.

Marquez has won at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas seven times on a Honda, and returns this year on a Ducati for the third round of the 2024 MotoGP season.

“It’s set up to be nicely put for him to get his first win, or wins, this weekend,” Jordan Moreland said.

Robert Jones replied: “He has to be eyeing up a win.

“Now, with the added element of a sprint, if Marquez doesn’t win at least one of the races he would leave COTA disappointed.

“Put everything aside, what has happened over the past few years. His record at that circuit is phenomenal.

“There is no rider that has been able to match Marquez.

“Marc’s consistency at that circuit has been incredible.

“Aside from the incident in Portimao with Bagnaia, he has also been consistent this season. In qualifying and races.

“Marc has always been up there, showing an ability to be in the top five, while learning the bike at two circuits which are not his best.

“For him to be that strong going into COTA, a circuit which he loves and where he has a unique ability to make an at-times bad Honda do miraculous things?

“Now he’s on the best bike, a bike which is more consistent, and will give him the feel he needs…

“It’s a bike that other Ducati riders have been strong with at this circuit.

“Everything lines up for him to win one of the races.

“He has shown he can be strong in the sprints and grands prix so there isn’t one format which suits him better.

“If he can qualify well, which he should, then Marc will look at winning one of the races. And I think he will.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Jordan Moreland added: “His best ride at COTA was when he was at his worst physically, with a bike which was really difficult to ride.

“He loves left-handed corners. He tested at COTA when he was a rookie.

“There is something about this place which is made for him.”

Peter McLaren explained: “It’s scrappy, it’s bumpy, different surfaces, slippery. All the things which Marc, as a dirt tracker, likes.

“It all comes together with the late braking. It is quite stop and go.

“When you look at the map it looks flowy. It might be in a Formula 1 car with loads of downforce but, with bikes, it’s not as fast as it looks on paper.

“The corners toward the end of the lap are quick but a lot of the S’s are second or third gear.

“Marc was able to wrestle the bike around.

“Now it will be interesting to see with the Ducati. He hasn’t been wrestling the bike, he has looked smooth. How will that adapt to this track?

“It’s hard to believe that Marc will be anything other than fast this weekend.”

McLaren added: “It’s the kind of track where the rider can make the difference, as long as the bike is near.

“The Ducatis have won there previously.

“Everything is there for Marc to do well. Qualifying will be key. It will be a big part of the weekend for everybody but especially for Marc to avoid front tyre pressure problems.

“If he can get to the front early? You wouldn’t count out him getting to the front and disappearing!”

Jones made his prediction for the weekend’s races: “I’m going with Marquez to win the sprint and Enea Bastianini to win the grand prix.”

McLaren’s prediction: “Also Marc to win the sprint, and championship leader Jorge Martin for the Sunday race.”

Moreland’s prediction: “I think Martin will win the sprint with Marc on the podium, and Bagnaia. I think Marc will win the grand prix.

“There will be a mentality switch. He has seen the first two races, what Pecco and Jorge have done.

“Marc has shown good pace but has struggled with the front tyre.

“If he gets out front, qualifies well, it’s a different thing with the grand prix. He’ll go and push. Marc will win the grand prix!”

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