Marc Marquez: Victory? I’d sign for a podium now

Marc Marquez: 'If today you said, ‘you will achieve your first [Ducati] podium’, I will sign.'


Marc Marquez has played down expectations of extending his COTA victory tally to eight with a debut Ducati victory in Sunday’s Americas MotoGP.

Marquez missed last year’s event due to injury, but was unbeaten at COTA from 2013-2018, added a seventh win in 2021, then rode from last to 6th after a startline glitch in 2022.

Having now left Repsol Honda for Gresini Ducati, the six-time MotoGP champion took his first Sprint podium on a Desmosedici last time in Portimao.

However, he and Francesco Bagnaia then clashed over fifth place in the grand prix, leaving both on the ground and out of the points.

Marquez stressed that even without the incident there were ‘three or four riders faster than me’ and that he’d sign for a podium on Sunday.

“We arrive in a good racetrack for my riding style. Obviously, in the past, we achieved many good results, but right now – as we saw in Portimao – there are three or four riders faster than me,” Marquez said.

“So let's see if I can be a bit closer. If today, Thursday, you said, ‘you will achieve your first [Ducati] podium’, I will sign. I mean before a victory, we must arrive at the podium. So step-by-step.”

Nonetheless, Qatar and Portimao were circuits where Marquez has never personally excelled, while he was untouchable at COTA for many years.

On the other hand, Ducati’s only COTA victory to date was by Enea Bastianini in 2022 when the Italian, now Bagnaia’s factory Ducati team-mate, was riding for Gresini.

“Of course, they [Ducati and Honda] are completely different concepts of bike,” Marquez said. “The Honda was super strong in stop-and-go corners. As, for example, Alex Rins showed last year here and as me and Joan Mir showed in India more-or-less.

“Let's see how the Ducati is working here. I know that it will be different, but my target is to try to flow on this track. It’s a race track that I like. So we will try to enjoy it and then we will see.

"The main reason [I've been so successful here] is that it's [anticlockwise] and you have more left corners than right. This is the biggest difference. And also I like stop-and-go corners. 

"Apart from that, I had one of the best memories of my career here, when I achieved my first victory in MotoGP, in the second race. 

“It will be difficult to achieve victory [this weekend] because, as I say, first of all, we must arrive at a better result in a Sunday race, because at the moment we are not even able to fight for the podium.

“We're in the top five, but still the podium didn't arrive yet.”

The Portimao clash has left Marquez 33 points from early title leader Jorge Martin.

Bagnaia crashed from the lead of last year’s COTA race, handing a shock victory to LCR Honda’s Alex Rins. 

It was the first RC213V win since Marquez's most recent victory, at Misano, in 2021.

Read More