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MotoGP Gresini Racing launch

Marquez “can’t pretend” to think he can win on Ducati MotoGP bike straight away

Marc Marquez says he “can’t pretend” to think he will be able to fight for victories straight away in 2024 on the Gresini Ducati MotoGP bike.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

The eight-time world champion made his public debut with the Gresini team he will race with this season at its launch on Saturday, after parting ways with Honda at the end of a difficult 2023 campaign.

Marquez made his debut on the bike at the post-season Valencia test last November, ending the day fourth overall and just 0.171 seconds off the pace.

He told DAZN later that he adapted quicker to the GP23 Ducati he will race in 2024 than he expected, but has once again moved to quash expectation that he will be a victory contender from the off this season on Saturday at Gresini’s launch.

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“One thing is expectation, the other thing is approach,” Marquez said. “I mean, of course my approach is to try to be fast on the race track, and if I can be faster in the first test, I will try to do it.

“But the other thing is expectation versus reality. Of course, expectations are super high from the people.

“But as I said in this scenario, my work is to try to forget about all these expectations, trying to work in my garage because I need to be calm, especially in the beginning.

“Calm doesn’t mean not being fast. Of course I would like to be fast, but I cannot pretend to [think I can] fight for the victory from the beginning because the last four years were a nightmare for me.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

“The last two years I was not able to win a race and especially because I arrive to a bike that, especially with two riders – who are [Francesco] Bagnaia and [Jorge] Martin – [who] spent many years with this bike and won many races and championships.

“So, they are super fast and they will have the 2024 bike… the same bike. We can say the same bike, but you arrive there and you cannot pretend to be on the same level – or, it will not be the normal thing to be on the same level with them.”

Despite going for arm pump surgery straight after the Valencia test, Marquez says this was the first winter since 2017 that he wasn’t battling recovery from injury.

“Of course, finally I did a normal winter,” he added. “This was another thing that was very important because since 2018 I have had all of the winters with rehabilitation of the shoulders, of the arm.

“Now I had a normal winter and I will try to escape from the injuries, which was the nightmare of the last years – even in 2023 I got injured.

“So, the reason for my results was also not just the Honda, but I also got injured many, many times.

“So, with all those aspects I will try to work in a better way, try to feel better on the race track and try to create my future again.”

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