Alex Marquez heads into his second MotoGP season with LCR, his third with Honda, exited for the potential to come in 2022.
A wealth of experience and confidence now under his belt added to the new 22-spec RC213V provides the younger Marquez brother with an optimistic outlook for the coming year. All four HRC riders appear to be working smoothly together as the Japanese marque fine tunes its new offering, creating a united and positive front ahead of February’s five days of preseason testing.
“2021, especially in the beginning was not easy,” Marquez admitted. “I think for any of the Honda riders but we work quite hard and quite well with all the HRC people and we did a really good improvement during the year. We finish the season in a great performance. Can be better but was not bad from the point that we were in the beginning of the season, with confidence, with feeling. That is the most important thing.
“When you’re struggling like this, like ’21, also is a good year to learn as a rider. To try also when you have many problems to be more complete as a rider.
“I had the opportunity to try the prototype in Jerez in November. Was a great feeling. Some parts were really good, especially where we were struggling during ’21 - that mainly was the rear grip. Okay some other parts still we need to work, and we need to try this prototype or this ’22 bike in more circuits to have a better conclusion but looks like the potential is there.
“The potential is great and I’m looking forward to start the 22 season with the level that we finished ’21. This will be the most important thing. We have only just five days of preseason so each day will be really important for us to take the conclusions and to have the right feeling on the bike to try to arrive to Qatar in a good way. To start the season in a better way than last year, because if you start in a good way already you have something in your pocket, in your feeling, then the season I think will be a little bit more easy.
“I know that I need to improve,” he continued, turning his attention to his own preparation. “Not just the bike. I need to improve in more conditions, try to be a more complete rider, try to be always there and not make the up and downs that I did in this 21 season.
“I’m the first one that I need to improve. Then is true, if the bike has a great potential and we have a good bike, for sure will be a little bit more easy everything. I’m the first one that I know from myself I need to work and is what I’m doing this winter. Physically I’m feeling really good, also on motocross bike and flat track bike, so I’m feeling great.
“What we need is to go to the first test and try to work. I believe that in the work is the key of a season and it’s what we need to do from the first day in a short preseason that we will have in Malaysia and Mandalika, to try to be ready for Qatar. This will be the key of the season. This will be really important because we will have a new bike so all the information that we can get in that five days will be really important for all the rest of the season.
“We still need to try the bikes in different tracks, looks like in Jerez the potential was good. In Misano looks like from Pol [Espargaro] and Marc [Marquez] the comment also was similar. We don’t have a lot of time to work about setup and all these things.
“First of all, for sure Honda will give to us improvement, because the comments from all three in Jerez were really similar and is the most positive thing, but still, we need to work on the bike. We need to extract that potential that looks like is there, try more in a different layout. Misano and Jerez can be a little bit similar but Malaysia is like a different layout and we need to try also there. But looks like the potential is there and is great to have that feeling back.”