'Honda Needed Three Meetings, Ducati Delivers Immediately' - Alex Marquez Compares Honda and Ducati
Published: 9th October 2023
After a career-rejuvenating move away from Honda and onto the Gresini Ducati, Alex Marquez compares the two manufacturers.
In the wake of a transformative career move, Alex Marquez bid farewell to the Honda factory team and the LCR satellite team at the close of 2022.
Embracing the challenge, the two-time World Champion sought to rejuvenate his career in the premier class with Gresini-Ducati. His journey with the new team has been marked by notable highs and lows.
He showcased his prowess by securing his inaugural pole position and landing a podium finish in Argentina. The victory in the sprint race at Silverstone further underlined his capabilities.
However, adversity struck in India, where a crash left him nursing three broken ribs, a testament to the challenges faced when riding a problematic bike.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Marquez candidly expressed his frustrations with the Honda, emphasizing the sense of relief and confidence he found in Ducati from day one.
Transitioning from Honda’s tough machinery to Ducati’s championship-winning bike, Marquez drew a stark contrast.
“It’s not so difficult to adjust to the Honda. That’s actually quite easy,” he noted. However, he highlighted the subsequent loss of confidence due to unexpected crashes, a hurdle he didn’t face with Ducati.
The Italian manufacturer provided him with the assurance and stability he needed, allowing him to regain his footing swiftly.
At the Valencia test in late 2022, Marquez could immediately sense the superiority of the Desmosedici. He described the feeling as markedly different yet remarkably intuitive, especially in terms of power delivery.
This seamless transition, he emphasized, doubled his confidence and clarified his path forward. Crucially, Marquez pointed out the disparities in problem-solving approaches between Japanese and European teams.
“If you have a problem, the Japanese need three meetings to find a solution. When I come to the box here [at Ducati] and explain a problem, they immediately suggest a solution.”
Despite missing races in India and Japan due to his injuries, Marquez has the opportunity to finish the season as the 10th in the World Championship standings, signifying a substantial leap from his three-year stint with Honda.
Reflecting on his time with the Japanese brand, Marquez acknowledged the mental toll it took on him. “I believe I never lost my speed. I lost confidence. Confidence in the project and confidence in the bike,” he admitted.
With the switch to Ducati, he found solace in consistency, affirming his unchanged skills and determination.
As he navigates this new chapter, Marquez exudes newfound confidence, attributing his enhanced speed to Ducati’s ability to instill trust in him, marking a promising era for the Spanish rider in the world of MotoGP.