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MotoGP Portimao: ‘My DNA is attack’ - Marquez

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has well and truly ‘rebuilt his confidence’ as he returns to the scene of his 2021 comeback at the Algarve International Circuit.

Having spent a vast majority of the past two seasons recovering his fitness from injury, Marquez put on an impressive showcase of his abilities with a last to sixth fightback at the Americas GP.

“Austin was a good weekend,” Marquez admitted. “The target was rebuild the confidence and we did it. We approached the weekend in a good way I think, we did a solid weekend so this was the most important. Is true that always I want more. Finish on sixth position was good, the comeback is very good but we were looking for something more. We had a technical issue on the start, things that can happen with a new bike and the most important thing is that Honda find the problem and they resolve the problem. So for the future this is something that is important. Time to think in this weekend and time to continue in our progression.”


While Austin saw him comeback from a second bout of diplopia, Portimao at the start of 2021 welcomed the eight-time world champion back after almost nine months away from competitive racing.

“Was a nice comeback one year ago here in Portimao,” he reflected. “After a long injury. It’s true that this last year has not been an easy one, also some up and downs and other injuries but anyway, we are here in Portimao to compete again.

“It’s true that inside our box we don’t have a lot of reference because I compete only one time and it was half and half but last GP here Alex [Marquez] and Pol [Espargaro] they were quite fast. We need to understand also with this new bike if we can continue the same way we did in Austin, it is time to reconfirm here in Portimao. The best thing I think, is approach the weekend without any expectation. Just try to understand, try to feel the bike and after warmup we will understand where we are.”

“I cannot say what happened on the bike,” the Spaniard admitted when queried on the reason behind his technical issues in Texas. “I don’t know if Honda will say but I cannot say. It was something that in ten years in the Repsol Honda team I never had a technical problem in a race day. Now, when I need more help than ever, is when it happened but just what I say to the team after the race, I say ‘Okay guys, in ten years we didn’t have any problem on the bike so sometimes can happen and in Portimao we will continue.’

“In the end, sometimes I’ve had many mistakes and sometimes I crash - like in Indonesia four times in a weekend and the mechanics never say to me anything and always happy faces. So this is a team and we are working in the same way in the good and bad moments.”

Turning his attention to the Portimao rollercoaster, Marquez admits his lack of experience led him to seek advice from home hero, and 2020 race winner, Miguel Oliveira.

“I like the layout and I like the track, up and downs, some bumps, different corners, strange corners,” he explained. “Is a track that you need to flow really well. Last year I struggle a bit to understand, also to understand the bankings of the corners, to understand the up and downs. I remember I was here before the press conference and I talked with Miguel Oliveira and he say ‘You need to flow on the track’ because he was the last winner and it’s true. If you find the flow, then everything is easier but if you fight against the bike, then everything becomes more and more difficult in this race track so let’s see.

“It will be an unstable weekend about the weather conditions so this will be another issue but for me the most important is understand this new bike and new package in a European track that is smaller, more narrow, and you need to be more precise.”

Last time out Marquez presented a calm approach before attacking the Austin weekend from the outset.

“I will have the same approach here in Portimao. But then, if I go out and in the first lap I feel well my DNA is push, is attack.

“This is what I did in Austin and this is what I will do here if I feel well,” he confirmed. “If not, is true that in Austin I control myself a lot to survive about physical condition and this helps me a lot on Sunday’s race. Here I’m better and this will be also a small help the weather conditions, rain conditions because like this, you don’t force a lot.


“Now I feel ready but it’s true that this season still my best position is top five. So I cannot think from top five to win a race. Is steps between and now I need to do that step to finish in a podium maybe, to do another top five, I don’t know. But with this unpredictable MotoGP you cannot approach a weekend with a clear target, you need to understand during weekend where you are.

“When things go well, and when you are winning, when you finish every weekend the top or in the podium, it is really easy to find the motivation and is really easy to train, is like you have double energy in your body. But when you have difficult moments is more than ever where you need to work harder. Where sometimes you don’t feel to wake up and go training but you need to. What I do is try to remember the good moments. This is what I’m doing now. Just try to remember the good moments for try to achieve again in the future.”

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