Losail.- Marc Márquez finished second in the times after the first day in Qatar, the starting point of the season, after two free practice sessions in which the Spaniard was able to check the step forward of the new RC213V that Honda has put in this year at the disposal of its four pilots.
“In terms of race pace I expected something similar, but at one lap I didn’t expect to go so fast. I’m happy with how we’re doing, but the driver still feels a bit strange,” explained Márquez at the end of the day.
After verifying that technically the new Honda is a clear improvement, the greatest concern regarding the Cervera rider is the physical aspect, which has kept him out of action for almost two years.
“Physically I have improved a lot. Now I have to see how I am modulating during the weekend. Today I rode without my arm conditioning me at all. I have ridden without pain, better than in all of last year. All the riders have discomfort; the pain is something else”, argued the Spaniard.
The characteristics of the new bike, as well as his right shoulder ailment, have forced Marc to partially vary his riding style.
“Now I am not so fast at the entrance of the curves. I do not have the feeling of being fast but the times come out. If I am aggressive I go slower. The only brand that could make such a radical change in the motorcycle is Honda”, he valued. . “But in Qatar we are not the fastest yet.”
Despite the good feelings, Márquez does not want to throw the bells on the fly, and prefers to remain cautious, especially with respect to Ducati, in the spotlight after this season start.
“I’ll keep Ducati’s opinion until after Sunday. It’s the first race and it’s only Friday. I don’t trust Ducati one bit,” he warned.
Waiting for Ducati to take a step forward, surely this Saturday, Marc right now identifies the Suzuki and Yamaha as the most dangerous rivals.
“Suzuki is going very well, and they have won a lot at top speed. Joan Mir and Alex Rins are ready to do first and second, and then Quartararo”, he predicted.
Qatar has never been a favorable circuit, neither for Honda nor for the Catalan. “On this track I suffer both for the bike and for my riding. If we want to fight for the podium we have to improve two tenths”, calculated the Honda rider.