Marquez will face “a big frustration” if he targets Ducati MotoGP wins right now

Marquez’s switch from Honda after 11 years and six world titles to the satellite Gresini Ducati squad for 2024 is generating boundless interest as the new season approaches.

Many of his peers have already pegged him to win on the year-old Ducati soon, though Marquez has continued to brush this expectation aside.

Asked again about the prospect of fighting for a first grand prix win since 2021 after the first day of the Qatar test, Marquez says he understands the expectation placed on him but urged that “I am human”.

After a difficult four years blighted by injury and disappointing results as Honda began to lag behind its European rivals, he says he can’t yet think in such terms.

“I understand the expectations of the fans and that they believe in me, but another point of view is the reality,” he said after ending day one in Qatar 16th. “The reality is that I’m coming from four years super difficult where I need to get the confidence again.

“If you see the pre-season I just tried to take it in a good way, calm and try to understand the bike. Why? Because it takes time, I’m human. And the years are passing and the young riders are coming, they are faster and this is natural.

“Every athlete has his moment and then step by step you need to understand how to adapt to the situation.

“Of course it will be a difficult season, there are two, three guys in Ducati who are riding in a very good way. I try to learn from them, but it takes time and it’s difficult.

“Let’s see if I can step by step get closer to them, but it’s not my target. If my target was to win, it will be a big frustration.”

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez completed 58 laps on Monday in Qatar and was just over nine tenths shy of the factory Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia at the top of the timesheets.

The eight-time grand prix world champion says he feels “more free” on the GP23 Ducati, but admits his instinct is still to ride the circuit like he is on a Honda.

“I mean here from beginning I feel more free on the bike, with more confidence, playing more with the body and that was already an improvement,” he added. “It’s true that still I will arrive at circuits, riding one type of bike for 11 years, my instinct is that one.

“But step by step I need to change. I worked on myself during all the day and now in the last part of the day we started to work on the set-up.

“But first of all I was just working on my performance, on my riding style and I started to feel better and better. So, let’s see if tomorrow we can make another step.”

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