Explained: The key topics for Marc Marquez’s engineers to optimise the GP23

Michael Laverty explains how the Gresini team are trying to make Marc Marquez comfortable on the GP23.

Marc Marquez, 2024 French MotoGP
Marc Marquez, 2024 French MotoGP

Former MotoGP racer and TNT Sports presenter Michael Laverty has given a rundown on some of the key areas of adjustment used by Gresini to make Marc Marquez comfortable on his 2023-spec Ducati.

Although Ducati riders currently fill the top four places in the world championship, Marquez (third) is the only one of them on a year-old bike.

Meanwhile, title leader Jorge Martin, reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia and factory team-mate Enea Bastianini are all on the latest GP24s.

“[Marc Marquez’s bike] is a year-old machine. Would it be faster with the new ground effect fairing? Probably. So what do you do if you are at a technical disadvantage? Well, for starters, you've got part Marquez on board. You're halfway there!” Lavery said during a feature for TNT Sport.

“The job of the [Gresini] crew has been to get Marc comfortable. He's ridden a Honda all his [MotoGP] life, now he's trying to adapt to the Ducati."

Here are the areas highlighted by Laverty:

Seat-to-footpeg height

“Firstly ergonomics, seat-to-footpeg height. Do you raise the seat up to put his weight on the front? [Or] do you lower him in there for braking support?

“We don't know those details, but they will have different height subframes. They'll get the gap from the seat to the footpeg around about 400mm. Marc’s a bit of an athlete. He's so supple. So flexible. He's not scared if his cramped on the bike.


“Then you move to the front end of the machine. Handlebars: Quite wide, a little bit like a motocrosser. Marc really likes to get over the front of the bike, manhandle it, so the bars are quite wide. That allows them to brake hard, use his skeletal structure to put all the force through the front end of the machine.

“Looking at the handlebar height, the handlebars are down the fork about 10mm. Now that doesn't sound a lot, but it's actually huge. I've done it myself. You drop those handlebars down 10mm, you're in the middle of the corner, it just keeps the weight on the front tyre that little bit longer. It took helps it hook, helps it turn. We know Marc's exceptional in front-end feel, but this bike doesn't like to be attacked.

Front brake

“Now we heard the comments after the Texas GP, Marc had intermittent issues with his front brake. It wasn't there when he needed it. And he likes a lot of bite from his front brake. So they have designed a new front brake lever.

“Marc brakes with just one finger and he likes a lot of bite. He doesn't like any free play. So instant response from the front brake. Little bit of a squeeze and with one figure, he's going to be pulling 15-16 bar of pressure that transfers the weight onto the front tyre.

“He likes bite, but he also likes power. When Marc has that bite and he can stop faster than anyone on the brakes, he can trail it into the corner. The beauty of braking with one finger is he can trail it in, carry it at lean angle and that gives him control over the front fork height.

“The beauty of Marc's ability is that he can trail brake all the way through the corner with that single finger.

“So, you're on an inferior package. You're looking at those GP24s with envy. But you want to fight for the title. 

"We spoke to [Marquez's crew chief] Frankie Carchedi, can he develop this machine? He did so with Fabio di Giannantonio last year and took it to the top of the pile by the end of the season. 

"In his words, ‘it's a work in progress’. But I believe they can do it once again…”

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