Alex Marquez “had some questions” about himself during Honda MotoGP woes

The double MotoGP podium finisher was the only Honda rider to get the difficult RC213V to a rostrum in his rookie year in 2020 when he was with the factory squad, but struggled to replicate this with LCR in 2021 and 2022.

With just two top eight finishes to his credit in 2022 on the Honda, Marquez elected to move to the Gresini Ducati squad for 2023 and felt “immediately at home” on the bike in last November’s one-day Valencia test.

Ending February’s Sepang test ninth overall ahead of all Honda riders, Marquez says his time at Honda made him sometimes question that he “maybe forgot how to ride a bike”.

“Of course,” Marquez replied when asked if he doubted himself during the last two years at Honda.

“Yes, I had some question marks but I never doubted that I can be fast.

“But in some moments, you feel like ‘ok, maybe I forgot how to ride a bike’.

“It was really tough moments, but I think these tough moments will help me in the future to be stronger and be a better rider.”

Alex Marquez endured some tough times at LCR Honda

Alex Marquez endured some tough times at LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda’s Sepang test revealed that the 2023 bike is still far from competitive, with Marquez saying it’s “not a surprise” to see his former manufacturer where it currently is in the pecking order.

“Yeah, I mean, to see them where they are is not a surprise because I know more or less what is going on,” he said of finishing ahead of Honda at the test.

“It’s not a point that you can change [quickly]. They will need time.

“They go on with new people and all this, but the new people cannot change things like this. They need time, but it’s better to be in front of them!”

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Ducati fields eight bikes currently in MotoGP, and though Marquez isn’t on a factory contract or riding full works machinery in 2023 (he will race the title-winning 2022 package), he notes that the Italian marque still works closely with him and Gresini.

“It’s nice,” Marquez said of Ducati’s working method.

“I mean, they have all the riders in consideration, and this is good.

“They listen to you and give you a lot of tips. For me, I’m new and it’s the first real test that I do with this bike, it’s really important to have the tips and the suggestions that they also have for the technical side.

“They passed by all the boxes every day [at the test] and took notes. So, it’s another mentality of working.”

A key complaint Marquez had of Honda last year was that he didn’t feel HRC valued his feedback sometimes when it came to bike development.

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