MotoGP

Marc Marquez: Now not the time to fight for MotoGP podiums

The six-time world champion has had a fraught start to the 2022 campaign and struggled to understand the radically revised Honda MotoGP bike, which is now more rear-biased to improve traction.

Finishing fifth in the 2022 Qatar curtain-raiser, his first race since winning the 2021 Emilia-Romagna GP after a pre-Portugal training crash left him with double vision that forced him out of the final two rounds, Marquez was then ruled out of the Indonesian Grand Prix when a violent warm-up crash left him with a concussion. This led to the return of double vision problems which forced him to sit out the following Argentina GP.

He returned for last week’s Americas GP, where he finished sixth after a stunning fightback from last when an issue with his bike saw him barely move away from the line at the start.

Marquez now sits 13th in the standings having scored just 21 points out of a possible 100.

Moving into the European phase of the championship starting, next weekend in Portugal, Marquez doesn’t believe he has the performance to fight for wins at every circuit – but believes right now is not the time to be thinking about podiums.

“Now we need to understand what our level is in European tracks, which I don’t think is the level to fight for the victory every race,” Marquez said at COTA.

“But another important thing, in a circuit I know very well [COTA], I know exactly where the weak points of the bike are.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: MotoGP

“I already pushed to Honda to say ‘you have to work there and there’ if you wanna be competitive in the next races.

“It’s true that Pol [Espargaro] is riding well in some race tracks, [Takaaki] Nakagami is riding well in some race tracks.

“But we have some weak points that we need to improve if we want to be consistent in all race tracks.

“What I learn is that with this championship, with this bike, you cannot predict the GP.

“You cannot go into a GP and say ‘this one I will win, this one I will finish top five, this one I will finish top 10’.

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“You don’t know. During the weekend you need to accept where you are and if you are 10th, you are 10th.

“But of course I will take the risk and the target is to try to build the podium every race. But right now is not the time to fight for the podium.”

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Marquez’s team-mate Pol Espargaro ended the COTA race 13th having battled a bout of food poisoning, and is the only Honda rider to get to the podium so far in 2022 after finishing third in Qatar.

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