MotoGP Motegi: ‘Single laps I can ride, race may be a problem’ - Marquez

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Marc Marquez’ expectations of Motegi remain clouded after the Repsol Honda rider had a shorter than expected MotoGP comeback at Aragon.

Having initially remained cautious of how his recovery would unfold during the demanding triple-header, Marquez had hoped a strong return to a track he knows so well would answer some questions. Motorland, however, left more unanswered than intended after a disastrous opening lap saw him in the middle of two collisions before being forced to return to the box.

“Aragon was already really demanding,” Marquez explained from Japan on Thursday. “Especially because the Misano test is one thing but the intensity especially in a race weekend is different.

“Here in Motegi will be the first time that there is a big stress to the right arm, because there are many braking points - long braking points, hard braking points - and right corners, so I will need to manage the situation well, and my physical condition.

“In Aragon, I said that maybe Sunday will not be a problem; maybe here, yes; but I will understand straight away when I go out in FP1.

“The target of the Aragon GP was to try to do some kilometres and try to finish the race, but unfortunately I just did one lap after an amazing start,” he confirmed of his frustrating return. “I was disappointed, especially because I felt ready.

“On race pace I was not bad, it was my strongest point, and I managed the tyres on that race track - I feel really good when the tyres drop - but anyway, it was like this. It was unlucky, but at the same time, lucky, because in both situations, we were lucky that nothing happened.

“It’s true that in Aragon I was struggling a lot in the morning practice, but then in the afternoon practice I felt much better,” he continued. “I was struggling a lot in the natural position on the bike, but then in the afternoon, it was much better. Now, single laps, I can ride like I want, but the problem is that still I need more muscle to keep that riding style for more laps, and we are looking to arrive at that level in these next races.

“Now it’s time to focus here in Motegi. It will be different, it will be damp conditions. It’s true that we have more races to try the things in Honda, but it’s an important weekend because it’s one of our test circuits and the test team is working a lot here, but we will continue our way and just try to work for 2023.

“It’s important to be back in Japan because sometimes you have some emails, some phone calls, but face-to-face is completely different, and it was important to visit all HRC and check what they are doing, and especially motivate them. At the same time, you see the President and all the important people who are there. They know already where they are, they know where they want to arrive, and I’m here to help them to come back to the top.”