Marquez having to change MotoGP riding style “more” than normal at COTA

The eight-time world champion has won at COTA seven times since making his MotoGP debut in 2013, marking it as one of his most successful tracks in his career.

But all of those wins came on the Honda and Marquez has moved to downplay expectations that he can add an eighth to his tally this weekend on the Gresini Ducati.

Finishing Friday practice third overall, Marquez admits he is having to alter his approach to Texas venue in the way he would normally find lap time on the Honda “more” than at any circuit he has ridden on the Ducati so far.

“More,” he said when asked if he is having to change anything for such a unique track as COTA.

“I mean, yes, here when one bike is not completely fantastic in all the points and the other is not completely fantastic… it’s impossible to have the perfect bike and it’s impossible to have a bike that is working on all the points.

“The Honda was super good on those stop-and-go corners.

“But the thing is that with the Ducati you need to ride in a different way and find the time in another way in those corners.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, it’s there where I was more concentrated this afternoon, trying to understand that point and I started to understand and since that point the lap times were coming better and better.”

Despite this, Marquez says his Honda instincts are starting to fade with each new track he faces on the Ducati.

“I mean, step by step that instinct is going,” he noted.

“Of course, everybody has his riding style, but now step by step I already arrived at the track and I arrive as a Ducati [rider].

“But it’s true that FP1 is always the more difficult one because you have the memories of many years riding in one way and riding in one line.

“But as soon as you understand that you do that line and you are slow, you then need to change and to adapt.

“So, it’s what I did this afternoon and this plus how the team helped me with the bike, this was the big thing.”

While he finished Friday’s running strongly, Marquez says he was happiest with the way his Gresini team reacted to his set-up troubles in the opening practice.

“Happy with the reaction,” he added. “Why? Because we started the day with a not so good feeling, the feeling was better even in Portimao than here.

“But we reacted in a good way for this afternoon, and this afternoon I started to feel the bike better, I started to feel more constant – especially on that second run.

“And since that point, looks like now we can start to work on small details. But, as I expected – not the people maybe – there are two, three riders faster than me.”

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