until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Marquez not in title race as rival duo ‘much faster than everyone’

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia have the speed to monopolise the 2022 MotoGP title battle, Marc Marquez believes.

The six-time MotoGP champion has posted top-six races in all four races he has contested so far, but a double vision-triggered two-race absence has meant he has just 44 points to Quartararo’s 89.

And Marquez acknowledges he also just doesn’t have the raw performance right now to compete for the title, instead highlighting Quartararo and also Bagnaia – despite the latter’s quiet start to the season before Jerez – as the runaway contenders.

Francesco Bagnaia Fabio Quartararo Jack Miller Marc Marquez MotoGP Jerez

“At the moment, we are not ready to fight for the championship. We have two riders that are much faster than us, than everybody. That is Quartararo and Pecco. They are the two guys that in the pre-season I was saying ‘Quartararo and Pecco’, ‘Quartararo and Pecco’ and in the end they are there.”

While Quartararo leads the standings, Bagnaia is fifth and has only 12 points more than Marquez – but the Spaniard clearly found the Ducati man’s Jerez performance very convincing.

“But it’s true that we are getting closer and closer,” Marquez continued. “Tomorrow we have an important test, we will continue to work- I can’t say ‘on that direction’ because still we don’t know the direction.

Marc Marquez Honda MotoGP Jerez

“It’s true that Indonesia, Argentina, there [by missing the races] we lost a lot of points.

“But we are not on the the pace, we don’t have the speed to fight for the championship and fight for victories. But I’m trying to survive in another moment.”

Marquez’s performance had looked rather dire on Friday before he had to bank on following both Bagnaia and Quartararo in qualifying to drag himself up to the second row of the grid.

However, he was then plenty competitive in race trim, even if a podium proved out of reach as he allowed Aleix Espargaro through during last-corner near crash – in which he lifted his Honda back up with his left arm.

“It’s true that last year I had one experience, and this year I tried to approach the weekends saving energy for Sunday. And on Friday I tried not to use a lot my energy for the rhythm – it’s difficult like this but it’s how I feel better on Sunday. Then on Saturday I pushed for a single lap, in FP4 I tried to find my rhythm, and then in the race I gave everything.

“It’s been a long time – the last two years I didn’t save [a crash] in that mode. When I will save on the right side [where the arm fracture was], then will be different. On the left side I feel okay.

“But it’s true that even like this… I think the Spanish crowd picked me up! Because I was completely on the floor, both wheels were sliding. But then suddenly I picked up the bike.”

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