‘Not the real Marc Marquez’ since Sachsenring
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Undefeated at the German venue since joining the premier class in 2013, Marquez suffered five punishing accidents in the 2023 event (and gave his bike the middle finger after another high-speed scare in practice) before withdrawing from the Sunday race.Rib injuries also caused Marquez to withdraw from the following Dutch weekend and the Spaniard, who began the season with pole and a Sprint podium in Portimao but topped the accident list (14) by Assen, returned visibly subdued after the summer break.“In six races I broke three bones and one ligament. The approach now must be different,” Marquez explained.Marc Marquez: ‘Same problems’ with 2024 prototype, future clear soonPromising not to override the unless he felt comfortable and instead focus on bike development, the eight-time world champion finally reached the chequered flag for the first time in a grand prix this year with 12th place in Austria. That has been followed by 13th in Catalunya and 7th at Misano.Brad Binder recently said it was ‘sad to see’ Marquez and fellow former world champion Fabio Quartararo – one GP podium so far this season – struggling so much.Bagnaia was asked how he saw the situation for two fellow champions that, on paper, should be his key title rivals but are not even in the championship top ten:
“For sure, for them it is not an easy moment,” Bagnaia said at the Catalunya round. “I think more for Marc because he was trying – he was in the front row always and fighting for the top five [earlier this season, but] risking a lot, ing a lot.“And it’s clear [after] Sachsenring something has changed in his mentality. Because this is not the real Marc. This is clear for everybody.Related Takaaki Nakagami signs for MotoGP 2024 British Superbikes: PBM team go from united to divided after Oulton Park “For Fabio it’s tough, but I don’t know how [much] mentality is [a factor in his] results. Because the new bike [Yamaha] is faster on the straight compared to the old one – but the old [Yamaha] was always in front, fighting for wins and so it’s very difficult to understand the situation.”While Marquez and Quartararo took MotoGP by storm from their debut seasons, reflecting on his own fortunes, Bagnaia highlighted how his early MotoGP years were problematic before everything came together at the factory Ducati team in year three.“When I arrived in MotoGP, I was in their type of situation, then things just improved [for me],” Bagnaia said.“Because I arrived in MotoGP [with Pramac] with a bike that was a bit of 2017 with a 2018 swingarm. So it was a bit of a mix and I was ing always, without understanding nothing.“Then I had the luck to arrive to the factory team, thanks to Gigi [Dall’Igna], Davide [Tardozzi] and the people in the factory understanding [my] potential, because they knew perfectly the level of the bike that I had in the first year.“From that moment I started to improve, but the first two years in MotoGP were very, very difficult. I was struggling a lot and it was not easy.”Whether it happens at the start of a MotoGP career or later on, Bagnaia highlighted that even the very best struggle at some stage.“It’s like when Vale was winning 2001-2002-2003-2004-2005 [then lost in 2006], or Marc was winning from 2013-2014 then 2016-2019.“When the bike is working well, or you suit perfectly the bike, you don’t need to think about many things and can just enjoy riding.“It’s a great feeling and you have to use the momentum to do the results [because it can change quickly].””4Marquez is keeping Honda on its toes over his 2024 intentions by refusing to rule out rumours of a shock switch to join his brother at Gresini Ducati.
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