Marc Marquez returns to the MotoGP paddock after two months of absence due to the 4th surgery on the right humerus. He will spend the whole week at the Red Bull Ring as… a guest of Red Bull and as a temporarily inactive Repsol Honda Pilot, of course. Dorna recorded a short interview with Marс, where she asked him to evaluate the course of the fight for the title in 2022 – who is the most obvious favorite, and who has great difficulties.
Having already missed 4 races after Mugello, Marquez can no longer race for the title, even if he really wants to, and will return to the MotoGP starting grid immediately. Realizing this, HRC gave the Brand carte blanche for rest and recovery. He will go to the start of the Grand Prix in 2022, at least once (or twice, if he feels the opportunity), and will take part in the IRTA tests after the San Marino Grand Prix. But all this is exclusively within the framework of tests of the new RC213V prototype, which HRC is preparing for 2023.
In the past, Marquez regularly crossed swords with Ducati pilots at the Red Bull Ring, losing all duels: in 2016, the TOP of the podium in Spielberg was occupied by the pilots of the Italian factory – Iannone and Dovizioso, and Marquez closed the TOP 5; in 2017 and 2019, Andrea Dovizioso surpassed the Repsol Honda Pilot at the last moment of the duel, and in 2018 Jorge Lorenzo was the first to finish. Marquez understands the strengths and weaknesses of Ducati Desmosedici on this track, as well as in Misano… And he knows why Yamaha drivers have always felt out of place at the Red Bull Ring.
Marc Marquez came close to the leader of the Ducati Lenovo Team Francesco Bagnaia for the first time only at Motorland Aragon in September 2021. Their fight lasted the entire second half of the race, and Pekko looked more confident in it, while Marquez had to take risks and, having made a couple of mistakes, retreat on the last lap.
Given that Mark is not participating in the championship, he can freely express his opinion about what is happening today.
Who is the clear favorite?
“Pekko seems to have gained momentum and is going very well for the season! He will have several very comfortable, favorite tracks, including the Red Bull Ring and Misano. Pekko will be one of the main contenders for victories in the next few races, there is no doubt about that,” Marquez said confidently.
The battle for No. 1 in the championship between Cartararo and Aleix Espargaro – who will take it?
“In the case between Fabio and Aleix… To be honest, Fabio needs help from Yamaha. As a guy who saw all these races from the outside, I saw that he was driving superfast, but everyone else had a margin of speed on the straight. And when things turn out this way, it’s hard to overcome. He rides great when he’s alone – in training and in qualifying. But as it comes to the race, as he gets into traffic, it’s hard for him to overtake and fight. He’s still one of the fastest overall, besides.”
“On the other hand, Aprilia and Aleix are the main surprises of the championship this year! And now Vinales looks fast and ready to move to a new level,” Marc replied.