Marquez looking to keep “intensity” in last 2023 MotoGP races before Ducati switch

The eight-time world champion had a decent showing on the Honda last weekend in Thailand, finishing fourth in the sprint and seventh in the grand prix, which became sixth after a penalty for Aleix Espargaro.

Marquez now has just three rounds left with Honda before making his move to the Gresini Ducati squad for 2024, with HRC confirming last weekend that he will be allowed to test the bike in Valencia on 28 November.

But before he departs, he says he wants to keep pushing the way he did in Thailand – regardless of what results this gains him – to ensure he “will have the pace” to begin life at Gresini.

“The decision is made, so I will not speak about if,” he said when asked if Honda signing Ducati’s technical guru Gigi Dall’Igna would have kept him at HRC for 2024.

“The decision already is made. Now, as you see, I’m more free. Just I’m riding the bike and I don’t care about anything.

“And just what I’m looking for is to keep the intensity in these last races.

“OK, the results will be better or worse. But trying to keep this intensity on the riding [is what I want] because like this, when I go to a new project I will have the pace. Enough, I don’t know. But at least I will be ready.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marquez said he was close to joining his brother Alex in running the medium rear tyre in the grand prix, but ultimately opted for the hard option.

Though the hard tyre means “we struggle a lot with the performance” of the Honda, Marquez added that all he was looking for was “a stable weekend, and we achieved it.”

The Honda rider also got involved in numerous battles during the grand prix, including with Francesco Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro.

He says attacking was the only way he could defend his position with the Honda, as its poor rear grip meant he was getting hammered on the run out of Turn 1 down to Turn 3.

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“I went out and I was warm,” he added. “I tried to attack in the beginning because I realised immediately that if I was not attacking, every time I came out of Turn 1 to Turn 3, one bike overtook me.

“So, then I said ‘OK, the best way to defend is to attack’. And then the way to attack with our bike is the braking points.

“I was braking late in Turn 5, I was braking late in Turn 12. But not enough. We lost out sometimes, like with Aleix, which was a tight fight.”

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