Álex Márquez: "It is an advantage to work more in the background"

He welcomes his passage to the LCR Honda Castrol and Marc says that "he is well, encouraged, and every time he feels better."


A face of hope, self-confidence and happiness that of Álex Márquez in the presentation of his new team, the LCR Honda Castrol. The two-time world champion is not afraid that his boss asks him for podiums and victories in his second season in MotoGP. You already know something about the first, because he signed two second places last year. And about the victory, he assures that he is not obsessed with it, but he wants it, as well as seeing his brother Marc on the grid again and training with him in his native Cervera as they used to.

-Advantages and disadvantages of being in the LCR Honda Castrol compared to being in the Repsol Honda?

-It's hard to say when you have the same bike in one place and another. Among the advantages is being able to work more in the background, in a satellite team, in which the a priori pressure is less facing the viewer and outwards. It brings some more peace of mind. It is also a smaller team, a more direct contact and a smaller pineapple, which I also like. A more familiar team in which there is a lot of communication. Disadvantages? That you are not in a 100% official team. From the outset, being in an official team is very nice, but it cannot always bring you positive things just from the start. It is clear that it is my second year, but the first one was not natural, to say the least. This is a year in which we must continue to have an evolution of the first and continue to burn many stages. That is why from the first moment I had this opportunity I decided yes, because it was where I thought I could continue to grow more as a pilot and as a person

-How is your brother Marc?

-Marc is fine, he is animated. He is feeling better and better and that is positive. You are already seeing it on social networks. Another winter, and it is already the third, in which I have not been able to train every day with him, so let's hope that the next one will be calmer and we can prepare a season together.

-Is it realistic to think about going for victory?

-If something has been shown last year and in the last years in MotoGP, it is that nothing is impossible. There has been a lot of change with the new tires and a lot of different things. Nothing is impossible in this life. It is clear that it is difficult, but with work you can achieve everything, although it is not something that obsess me. You have to burn stages and, if it is something that has to come, it will come, but it is not something that I am obsessed with at the moment. I am obsessed with working hard, working well, starting on the right foot, trying to stay ahead and follow the evolution that was seen in the second half of last year. Being regularly between the top 5 and the top 7 I think would be a very good result for the team and for me, but above all, that there is evolution and that there is never a standstill or stagnation.

-Drivers like Mir or Viñales continue to put his brother as a favorite for the title. Do you think so despite everything you have experienced?

-You have to see, you have to see how Marc returns, where and when. It is clear that when he returns, he will be the first to have more desire than ever and that hunger to get back on the bike and be competitive, to step on podiums again. Now it is too early to speak and when the rivals say that it is the game of putting pressure. I think the favorite, when the season starts, the 22 of us on the grid have a chance of winning. After a few races, it is determined who is most prepared to fight for the title.

-Have you really removed the 'rookies' sticker for still having so many new circuits this year?

-The rookies sticker clearly needs to be removed. Yes, we did not go to many circuits and did not get the experience with a MotoGP, but we had a year or almost a year of running with the bike. You can't say you're a rookie. It is clear that it was not a 100% year, so to speak, and that there are still many stages to burn and continue to grow. Sure there are many things to learn yet. Hopefully the schedule that exists to be able to go to almost all the circuits, and to be able to learn and see how you develop and evolve in different circuits.

-In the presentation, he said that he lacked regularity and also that he wants to improve his grades. How do you do that?

-In the end, when he has lacked regularity, he has come mainly for grades. What has hurt us the most and what needs to be improved the most is that. Later, in the race, one tenth up or down, we all have a fairly similar pace. Those seven or eight seconds that you lose in the first laps is almost impossible to recover later and they make you lose the race completely. It already cost me when I went from Moto3 to Moto2. The second year I started to get the hang of qualifications and there came a time when I was much faster in qualifying than in racing, something that is not natural for me. I got pole positions, but not victories, and it's something to understand the tires a little better, to get more out of them. The Honda is a motorcycle that becomes a bit critical after one lap, but I hope that this year, with small improvements that Honda will bring, it will improve in that regard. And I too, as a driver, have to take that step, understand the tires a little more and get more out of it. That is the point where we have to improve the most and that we focus on that from the preseason, but also other points, because I am no longer a rookie to be in the second year and we have to burn many stages.

-What is the part of the body that most punishes MotoGP?

-A MotoGP tire is everywhere: shoulder, triceps, maybe the back… This is where I have tried to reinforce the most this winter. It must also be said that no matter how much you work in winter, the first day of testing you are destroyed and it seems that a truck has passed you, because the forces are different. Even if you train with a street bike, you can't simulate what a MotoGP is, what those tires are and what tightens. It is clear that the first days always costs that shoot. But above all that, strengthen the triceps, back and shoulders a little more to be more prepared. But also a second year in which you are looser on the bike and not so stiff also helps you tire less.

-What do you think you do best riding the MotoGP?

-Lifting the bike is something that they insisted on me from the beginning at the Repsol Honda. It's something that I like, but also where I sin in qualifying, and that's why it's hard for me. With a new tire, when you are leaning, open a little more throttle and do not think so much about lifting the bike as you do with a used tire. This is where I have to focus more and get the most out of when I'm leaning with a new tire. I like it, but I dislike it at the same time because with a new tire I can't get the most out of it.

Photos from as.com
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