Eleventh appearance for Marc Márquez as a Repsol Honda MotoGP rider. The successful journey that started in 2013, with a title at the first exchange despite his rookie status, led them to win six titles together, until everything was cut short in 2020 by a fall that fractured the humerus of his right arm. That forced him to undergo surgery four times, but now he returns with renewed energy.
Do you have pressure?
-Pressure is something that the athlete has to live with and more if you have a winning mentality as is our case, but it also makes you get one more point and last year, in 2022 I missed it, not thinking about victory , but in setting objectives for myself throughout the weekend, but now the history of this team says it all, we must talk about the title and that is the illusion, fighting for the title. You have to give everything in the competition, because when you stop prioritizing the sporting side and make the competition your only priority, it is when you know that the results will never come, and that is what I have done in the last three years, prioritize in the results in competition with the clear objective of fighting for the title. The fun is very good but that is to train, what I am passionate about is the pressure of competing and for that I fight every Sunday.
Will the usual Márquez be seen?
-Obviously my style and DNA and philosophy are still what I had when I was 20 years old, but experience adds up and I must know how to use it in a championship that will be very intense, with many points and races at stake and that is why we will have to be intense. The more weapons you have the better, as you can manage the situation much better, but the mentality is to go out and ride on instinct, as I have done in recent years.
-Have you placed special emphasis on Honda so that the bike doesn’t take you out of your ears?
-We are working on a fast and safe motorcycle and in the last five races after returning from the injury there has already been a change in philosophy, it was not the same motorcycle and there was no fear of flying away, but the motorcycle does not warn either. The real level will be seen in competition, in the races, because in training it is used to see technical issues but not to see the level at which we really are.
-What do you expect from sprint races?
-They will be intense weekends, physically and mentally, since you won’t be able to miss any training, but we will see what is happening in the first races to assess what is right or not. I imagine that there will be adaptations over time, but to summarize, from the outset, the ends will be more intense.
-How long do you have patience with Honda?
-I have focused a lot on recovering from all the ups and downs that I have had to face and now we know that it is the moment to give everything, but looking face to face all the problems to give the maximum, that is the objective, to give the maximum as a pilot , but also hoping that the factory of its maximum to grow together. As seen in the documentary, you have to understand the situation and the moment in which you press. I demand Honda and they demand me, but there has always been the commitment to be together and patience is great now and it is 100 percent recharged. We have a two-year contract and we want to fight for the World Championship and make the project grow to return to the same point where we left off.
-What can you say about Mir?
-What to say, MotoGP world champion and very talented rider. In any discipline, he is skilled and one of those Honda needs to improve the bike. He will be a great competitor, a strong partner that I hope will make me grow. It is the law of life, at Repsol Honda there will always be strong teammates, winning riders, who are the ones who make the level in the box and also in the team grow.
-How do you see the other bikes?
-In the tests I met other riders on the track, with Ducati, Yamaha and Aprilia and it is true that there are differences, but the real level of all the brands will not be seen until the races begin. I am convinced that there will be changes compared to Sepang in Portimao and also when the competition starts.
-Where do you see yourself right now?
-My mentality and due to the situation we have experienced in recent years, pressure is the biggest challenge after even thinking about withdrawing, but throwing in the towel is not in our DNA and we want to fight for the title, but we have to be realistic and we are trying to work hard in the preseason to achieve our goals in 2023 and if not, in 2024, but with the expensive objective of returning to where we always have.
-What does MotoGP have to do to gain repercussion?
-Be it because of the style of the bikes and the aerodynamics, or whatever, the MotoGP races themselves are different, but the most important thing is that changes are taking place during the weekends and little by little it improves. Five years ago it was not like that and the important thing is to see the reality of the situation, which is not going through the best moment now, but events like the one on Sunday in Madrid help. The experts are the ones who have to see how to recover the spectacularity that has always been in MotoGP.