Luca Marini On The Portimao Test And Why Top 10 Is No Longer His Target
For Luca Marini, the 2023 preseason couldn’t have gone better. The Italian analyses the Portimao test and sets a clear target.
After Luca Marini finished the first two tests in Valencia and Sepang as the fastest rider, the Italian must inevitably be one of the candidates for the podium. Even the fourth fastest time at the Portimao test does not change that.
Marini and his team-mate Marco Bezzecchi will start on the slightly outdated GP22. This, however, should not be a disadvantage for the Italians.
Marini explains: “At the moment, riders who have changed bikes and teams are at a disadvantage.”
For the 2023 season, although having full factory support if his results are good, Marini will theoretically be the only rider in the field to start on the exact same specification as last year.
While other riders will have to get used to their new machine, the 25-year-old will be riding a Desmosedici that is familiar to him.
“It’s a very complete bike,” he praises the GP22. “The bike is easy to ride. You can brake hard and there is a lot of cornering speed.”
“Maybe it is not as high as Yamaha, but we are close. The grip level is not incredible, but good enough to be strong.”
Setting A Clear Target
On top of that, Marini is pleased that the difference to Ducati’s new specification is surprisingly small. He doesn’t mind the big gap to world champion Bagnaia.
“I think everyone is on a similar level, only ‘Pecco’ has a bit more. He has his bike with his set up. He wants to feel the bike in his way. My set-up is made for me.”
The sprint and race simulations were important for the Italian before the big start of the season in two weeks time. In the process, he was able to determine a slight weakness of his bike with soft tyres.
“With the medium rear tyre, the pace is good to be in the top five. With the soft rear tyre, it is more difficult because the behaviour of the bike changes a lot. For qualifying it’s good, but for the race, it’s worse.”
Despite this, Marini no longer sees himself as just a candidate for the top 10. “I have the motivation to not just fight for tenth place,” he explains. “You make so many sacrifices to be here. I want to be in the top five.”