A week on from Marc Marquez courting headlines for all the wrong reasons in Portugal, Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez assumed a more forgiving spotlight following a landmark Argentina MotoGP round at Termas de Rio Hondo.
With his eight-time GP World Championship winning brother sidelined by injury, Marquez took centre stage with a maiden pole position on the Saturday, before following it up with a run to third place in Sunday’s main GP full-length feature.
Marking his first podium in MotoGP since the Aragon in 2020 - the latter of two trips to the rostrum on the bounce - it also represented his first top three finish on the satellite Ducati GP22/
Capitalising on Pecco Bagnaia’s slip out of second place following a spirited tussle with the factory Ducati rider, Marquez - who tallied points for fifth in the Sprint Race - was relieved to complete his ‘long’ journey to get back on the podium.
“I am super happy, I didn’t think I’d get the pole, a P5 and the podium. The race was really tough, really long, really
“The race was a little bit tough for us because in the warmup I was not able to make many laps to try electronics things and setup.”
[With Bagnaia] we just had two overtakes, so it was not a battle. He was pushing a lot when he crashed. In the last corner he was super fast on the braking, but then he lost in the middle point like I crashed yesterday in Q1.
“Later, in the last laps, it was difficult to keep also Morbidelli behind and Johann gained one second a lap. I was pushing a lot. I was trying not to make mistakes. It was a race to survive, but we survived so well and achieved a podium after 2020. That is a long way to here.
“We also achieved a lot of points for the championship that is so long and will be the key for this year. As I said, we are in a constant progression, but we are just in the second round.”
After three troubled seasons on Honda machinery, Marquez - Moto3 and Moto2 World Champion in 2014 and 2019 - is excited about his start to life within the Ducati fold and feels there is much more to come.