How will Marc Marquez feel after missed COTA chance?

Was COTA a wasted opportunity for Marc Marquez or a sign of great things to come?
Marc Marquez, MotoGP Race, Grand Prix Of The Americas, 14 April
Marc Marquez, MotoGP Race, Grand Prix Of The Americas, 14 April


Taking the MotoGP race lead for the first time as a Gresini Ducati rider, at a track where he has won on seven previous occasions, Marc Marquez looked set for glory at COTA Sunday.

But just moments later he was sent sliding into the gravel when he lost the front of his 2023-spec Desmosedici.

With the accident went a golden opportunity to end a MotoGP win drought dating back to 2021.

But the Spanish star later revealed that not only was he riding with a ero parts missing from early contact with Jack Miller but had been battling a braking problem that meant he had to pump the lever to build pressure.

That braking issue eventually caused his accident, which has left him eighth in the world championship and 44-points behind leader Jack Miller.

Although he was left with zero Sunday points for the second event in a row, Marquez proved he had the speed to fight for victory even with the technical issues.

And not only did he once again eclipse the other GP23 riders, but was on course to beat the factory-spec GP24s. 


On the latest edition of the MotoGP podcast, two-wheel reporter Robert Jones said:

“This was a big opportunity for Marquez this weekend. I think we all expected him to grab a race win at some point, in the Sprint or the Grand Prix.

“He’d just taken the lead and it looked like he was going to try and see if he could escape. He obviously had the braking issues, so to try and get some cool air on the front tyre was just as big as taking the race lead.

“But then came what was a heavy front-end fall. It was very disappointing for Marquez. It was still his best weekend in terms of pace on the Ducati but he probably expected that at COTA.

“It’s hard to say it was a big missed opportunity because it wasn’t his fault, there were braking issues, but it has dropped him further down in the championship. 44 points is a big deficit already. So he’ll be disappointed not to have at least been on the podium.”

“I think it’s in some ways similar to Vinales’ gearbox problem in Portimao [which he struggled with during the race and finally denied him a podium],” added MotoGP editor Peter McLaren

“Vinales insisted after Portimao, ‘I’m happy. I walked away with nothing, but I was fast and I know why it happened. Let’s get to the next race’.

“It’s a bit like that with Marc. He knows why he went down, the issue with the brakes. Let’s not forget he was also missing a wing pod from the earlier contact. 

"So he had damage to the aero, the brakes weren’t working normally, and he was still miles ahead of the rest of the GP23s – again – and he was up there fighting for victory.

“It’s going to ‘hurt’, falling from the lead at one of his best tracks but the speed was there… We’ll never know what might have happened between him and Maverick if he had stayed on. But it’s certainly not guaranteed that Marquez would have won.

“That’s maybe a slight consolation for Marquez. Because looking at the speed of Vinales at the end of the race, he might feel that 'Maverick would have got me anyway’.

“Marquez said he wanted a podium before the weekend, he got one in the Sprint and was quick enough for another in the Grand Prix and potentially top Ducati. 

"For only his third weekend on the bike, you can say it was a missed opportunity, but there were a lot of positives as well.”

Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April
Marc Marquez, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 14 April

Social media editor and podcast host Jordan Moreland said: “Yes, he lost a lot of points, but I think he’d rather crash out of the lead knowing he’s quick [than finish further down].

“His day will come. From his comments afterwards, there was some optimism. He knows there was a [brake] issue, he was trying his best to deal with that, but you can’t always pull off miracles.

“I think Marc Marquez was great this weekend. Like you mentioned Pete, it’s only his third race weekend on a Ducati and to be so far clear of the other GP23s - I think he’s going to be a factor in many races this season.”

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