‘I’m most curious about Marc Marquez’ - American legends talk up Ducati rider’s chances

Some of MotoGP’s former American stars have their say on what Marc Marquez could get his first Ducati win this weekend at COTA.


Taking part in his beloved American MotoGP at COTA for the first time on a bike other than a Honda, Marc Marquez could clinch his first Ducati win this weekend.

Following a slow start to both practices on Friday, Marquez ended the day in third place behind Jorge Martin and Maverick Vinales.

But the Spaniard, who is still adapting to the GP23 bike, is expected to be a major player for victory in the sprint and grand prix.

Wayne Rainer is certainly among those who believes Marquez could steal the show: “I’m most curious about Marc Marquez on a Ducati. I know he’s on last year’s bike so it probably doesn’t have the same level of material or equipment that the other riders have but it’s nice to see that he’s competitive. 

“He’s racing up front and it looks like he’s getting his confidence. I expect him to start winning very soon, maybe even here at COTA.

“There are so many things that it takes to be fighting for the world championship; one is that he has to have the confidence in the bike and that every time he goes to a circuit he knows more to compete on a Sunday.

“You look at Pecco and some of the other riders, they already know what to expect from their equipment.

“It’s been a while since Marc has been in this position. But he is a fighter and if anybody can do it, he is going to be the guy.”

Joining Rainey in speaking about Marquez aboard a Ducati was Kenny Roberts Sr and son Kenny Roberts Jr.

Roberts Sr said: “It’s going to be a very interesting year. Marquez is coming up and getting better watching it on tv, he doesn’t look comfortable yet. 

“When he achieves that I think it is going to be a different story.”

A big fan of Marquez, Robert Jr admitted the sport is better for having the eight-time world champion in contention: “I think it’s awesome and I’m a fan of Marc’s. Seeing him go through [tough spell with Honda], falling down and trying to make more of it than it is.

“It’s good and bad. The Honda is struggling but riders’ careers are a lot shorter. I’m happy to see him on a more competitive bike and hopefully he will be right there in the championship.

“Whether you’re a fan of his or not, the championship deserves to have Marc fighting for it and the other guys as well. Acosta coming up; it’s really tight at the moment and it’s just started.”

What is clear for Marquez, is that winning at COTA won’t be easy as he’s attempting to do so on a bike he’s still got to learn.

But Kevin Schwantz applauded Marquez for how quickly he has adapted and believes victory at COTA is possible.

Schwantz said: “It’s such a different bike to what he’s been racing all of his life. To have adapted the way that he has, COTA could be another win for Marc.

“You can never tell the bikes are so different now with the tyre wear, the heat and not being able to stay in the draft but it’s interesting to see how Marc’s race prowess is still there like it has always been.”

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