Marc Marquez reveals thought-process to “attack” Pecco Bagnaia at French MotoGP

Marc Marquez admits his Le Mans weekend was ‘saved’ by great starts in the sprint and grand prix.

Marc Marquez Le Mans MotoGP
Marc Marquez Le Mans MotoGP

Another genius ride was delivered from Marc Marquez as he went from P13 to second for the second MotoGP race in succession at Le Mans.

Although he didn’t gain as many positions on lap oneness he did in the sprint, Marquez was up to eighth come the end of lap one.

Marquez then picked off the riders ahead of him one-by-one, before joining Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia in the fight for victory.

A daring move came from Marquez on the final lap as he pinched second away from Bagnaia, however, his wait for a first Ducati win continued.

“Today we cooked that podium in a slower way,” said Marquez. “It’s true that yesterday we made an unreal start and it gave me second place in the sprint race, but as I said, the most important was that I had the pace to come through and come back.

“I knew the pace was there so I was trying to slowly overtake the other riders and when I was in that third place [battle]; we lost some time with Diggia, but then I said third place is okay.

“But then I was catching them and the pace was there. I expected Pecco to attack Martin in the last few laps and so I decided to attack him.”

Discussing his start, Marquez took a different approach to the sprint after gaining less positions compared to the sprint. 

Marquez added: “Today was a good start and I recovered some positions but in turn one, two and three I didn’t find the correct line. 

“I went wide on that fast corner. From that point I said ‘ok, step-by-step try to come back’. 

“Then, when I arrived at them - even when I was behind Bastianini I could see that they had really good acceleration on the exit of turn eight.

“It’s where I was losing a bit more. In the main straight it was similar but in that turn seven and eight I was losing a bit more.

“But I was strong in other points, for example in the left corners or where I overtook Pecco. At that point I felt really strong but I haven’t tried the bike, so maybe my bike is better there.”

While his comeback performances were brilliant, Marquez did conclude that such results from low down on the grid are not maintainable.

“That 13th place penalised our race a lot but we were able to save this time,” said the former Repsol Honda rider.

“Next time it will be more difficult because you can save one or two times per year. But this weekend we made a change on Friday and chose a direction that was not good.

“Then we came back but it was too late on Saturday. Then changing the electronics set-up. The sprint race was the first time I felt good with the bike.

“It is something that these two guys are fast with from the beginning and are very clever with ideas about what they want.”

Marquez no doubt showed exactly why Ducati are thinking of promoting him to the factory team, but the problem for the eight-time world champion is that Jorge Martin beat him on both occasions in Le Mans.

Ducati’s decision is likely to provide a platform for other riders to begin negotiations regarding their future, which could include Marquez if Martin, who has been the most consistent and fastest rider in 2024, gets that seat.

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