MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez has played down his chances of victory this weekend with the factory Ducati’s extremely fast around the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
Marquez lost out on a famous last corner battle with the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso twelve months ago and despite showing good pace in the dry morning FP1 session, the Spaniard was keen to highlight how strong the GP18s were.
"The Ducati the top speed is around 3-4-5km/h faster than us and on those three straights this makes the difference,” said Marquez.
“But we can improve in the middle of the circuit that is our strong point. It's especially when they put four-fifth gear, it's like something is going into that engine. They have such a powerful engine in that area.”
Whilst singing the praises of the Ducati, Marquez did reveal that he didn’t put in a new tyre or attempt one fast lap, instead sticking to his plan to work progressively through the weekend.
"Of course it was a good day because in the dry, when I go out, I feel okay,” he said. “I had a small problem on the third run, but I was able to find good confidence with the bike and track.
“We didn’t put a new tyre because it's our plan. The plan was to try the medium to see how it was in the last laps of the race and it was good.
“I did a good lap time, even on the last section we tried something in the set-up that improved. On Sunday it looks like it will be dry and I'm confident, but Ducati is strong. I mean you can see first, second and third Ducati. Especially Dovi is very, very strong."