Marc Marquez Reveals realistic target for The Season Opener in Portimao
Despite the “best” test day of the pre-season, Marc Marquez is left disappointed after Portimao. The Spaniard sets a realistic target.
After a sobering test in Portimao, Honda looks uncertainly to the season opener two weeks from now. The Japanese finished the last pre-season test in 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th place – anything but satisfactory.
Although Honda’s top star Marc Marquez described the last day of testing in Portimao as the “best day so far”, the eight-time world champion could not do much positive about the current development stage of the RC-213V.
Marquez confirmed what ultimately everyone could have guessed: “Unfortunately, some of the things that Honda expected would work on this track were not working as we expected.”
He points out how little of Honda’s developments have taken hold and been adopted: “We were riding today with the same bike, for example, as we finished in Malaysia.”
Improvements All Around
Despite the rather mediocre bike, Marquez draws a positive conclusion for the test weekend. Above all, the reduced gap to the fastest rider of the test, Francesco Bagnaia, tells him that the Marquez-Honda package has improved considerably since Sepang.
#1 stays on top of the rest of the grid on Day 2 of the #PortimaoTest 🇵🇹#MotoGP | #MGP1 pic.twitter.com/7FtahzMPaq— MGP1 (@mgp1official) March 12, 2023
The Spaniard is especially pleased with his long-run pace. Late on testing Sunday, he, like many of his rivals, had performed a sprint simulation.
“I was able to work a bit on the rhythm because when you try different things on every run, things are more difficult.”
He adds: “My main target today was the long run. Because 12 laps in a row were [important], even to understand my physical condition. And today on that long run, I was in a good rhythm.”
A Realistic Target
Nevertheless, Marquez is not expecting too much from the first race weekend. More than a fifth place is not possible for him and his Honda.
“For Portimao, we cannot think about the podium and we cannot think about victory. We need to think about what we have, try to take the best and we will see.”
“The conditions will change and the rubber on the track, but if the race was tomorrow we can fight from fifth to tenth I think.”
However, that is not to dismiss the 29-year-old’s fighting spirit. He is ready for a fight, even if it is just for tenth place.
His resolution is clear: “Try to find the best and if you need to fight for the top five, try to fight for the top five. If you need to fight for the top ten, try to fight for the top ten.”