Marc Marquez reckons his “ultimate goal” of remounting the top step of a MotoGP podium is “getting closer” following a battling ride to ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Honda ace faced the next step of his recovery from a broken right arm at the twisty Spanish Jerez venue, though his weekend didn’t start the best with a pair of high-speed crashes at Turn 6-the first of which facilitated a hospital visit- in practice before qualifying only 14th for the race.
He bounced back well during the encounter though as he fought back to ninth by the end-having passed team-mates Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro in the process-while also displaying speed relative to the leaders in the closing stages before beginning to suffer with the lack of strength in his arm.
Marquez says a lack of “aggression” on the opening tour gave him more work to do as he dropped back, though added he was “happy” to close out the race closer in time to the winner relative to his comeback race at Portimao a fortnight ago.
“I’m happy overall about my race, I lost a lot of time during the first part of the race because if you’re in the middle (of the pack) and you’re not aggressive-which I was not- the others overtake you, that is normal,” said Marquez.
“From that point I realised I was behind (Enea) Bastianini and therefore quite far away, but then I started to overtake riders step by step and at one point of the race the rhythm was really good.
“I started to see that when I was doing the rhythm that my physical condition was struggling a bit so I thought I’d keep trying as long as I could, and then in the last laps I was just trying to finish the race.
“The important thing is that even though we finished ninth we were closer to the top guy, so our ultimate goal (to win) is closer.”
Marquez stressed the importance of him completing further running during the scheduled MotoGP test at Jerez on Monday as he continues to acclimatise to the new 2021-spec Honda RC213-V, the six-time champion detailing areas of his machine he noticed during the Spanish GP he would to work on going forward as he admitted he is currently “doesn’t feel very comfortable.”
“I feel better, the target is to do some laps in the test and see where I am and to try and learn something about the set-up, the balance of the bike because I don’t feel very comfortable,” continued Marquez.
“When I followed the other Honda’s in the race, some laps (Stefan) Bradl and other laps Pol (Espargaro) we all more or less had the same problems and lost time in similar areas, I was able to follow and overtake them but when we are following other bikes we see we are struggling from the mid-corner to the exit, which is where a lot of time comes from.
“I came to Portimao straight onto the 2021 bike and I missed the improvements during last year as they made the bike better, so I need to keep trying to learn the bike to give feedback and bit by bit my riding style is getting closer for the race, I can only do five laps the way I want and from that there are things I want to change (with the bike.)
“Last year we were faster (at Jerez) than we were today, and the rack was warmer last year than today so with that information we can start to work and hopefully my physical condition will improve for Le Mans and we can try and improve the bike balance.”