Marquez COTA MotoGP sprint podium was “unexpected” as “feeling was terrible”

Marquez qualified his 2023-spec Ducati third on the grid and leaped up to second off the line behind eventual winner Maverick Vinales.

Seeing off an early threat from Tech3 rookie Pedro Acosta, Marquez stormed away to a second successive runner-up result in the sprints.

But Marquez says this result was better than expected as he battled problems on the bike that “took time to resolve” with his riding style.

“I mean, honestly, today that second place was something unexpected because it’s true that this morning we did a step, but from lap three, four, five the feeling was terrible,” he said.

“I started to have a few problems that during the practice were not there. And this created [a situation where] I was not focused enough, and it took time to resolve those problems with the riding style.

“But then I was waiting for my moment and then I was able to avoid a bit those problems and be faster and more constant on that sector one especially where I was losing a lot.

“And this gave me the chance to open a gap in the last laps.”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pramac’s Jorge Martin, who finished third, said he struggled with the rear vibration issues that has struck him at various points already this season.

Marquez said he had similar problems, saying: “Still we need to understand what is going on.”

Asked to compare his two sprint podiums in 2024, Marquez says the fact he was able to finish second behind the limits of the Ducati at COTA gives it more value than his Portugal runner-up result.

“I mean, for example in Portimao… it’s different,” he explained. “In Portimao the feeling with the bike was better. I was riding in a better way.

“Today here [at COTA] I was not riding well. I think I can improve some things in my riding style, but even like this I was able to be second.

“In Portimao I was riding perfect and I finished second. So, this gives me the chance that I’m not in the limit of the bike, so let’s see if tomorrow we can be more constant on that lap time because Vinales was super constant and super-fast.”

Watch: What we learned on Friday | 2024 #AmericasGP

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