|The double World Champion and current MotoGP rider is interview by Estrella Galicia 0,0 and shares his thoughts after his recent injury, the expectations for the end of this season and the next one with brother Marc in the same garage.
|Alex Márquez has endured a demanding first season on a new bike, although he did finish on the podium in his second race in Argentina and even took his first sprint race victory midway through the campaign at the British Grand Prix. Now, in the final part of the season, he had to deal with a painful rib injury, returning to action in Australia and even riding in podium position last weekend in Thailand, where he eventually crashed out of the race when running in third. It has also recently emerged that his brother Marc will be his new team-mate next year, so the opportunity for a lively chat about all these matters could not be missed.
Q. How are you doing with your rib fractures now, five weeks after your crash at the Indian GP?
A. “I feel fine, I would say at ninety percent, more or less, because in the end it’s not just the ribs, it’s also the physical shape. It’s an injury that doesn’t allow you to train or do anything, you must not move too much, just going from the sofa to bed. Even so, I broke a fourth rib at home, while just getting up, so it’s something to keep an eye on, but I think I’ve recovered almost one hundred percent from the injury, and I’m looking forward to finish the season in the best possible way. Now that I’m in good shape, I can concentrate 100% on riding.”
Q. What are your thoughts about your first season as a Ducati rider and what are your expectations for the end of this season?
A. “This injury stopped us a bit from having a good end of the season, but we still have three rounds left. In Thailand we got back our confidence and also the speed that we wanted to finish the year, so Malaysia, Qatar and Valencia will be key events to finish in a good way. I hope we can step on the podium again, and then go out again at the Valencia test, where we will try to ‘change our focus for next season’. We know that 2024 will be an important year for everyone because a lot of contracts are coming to an end and, for me, starting off on the right way will mean that future can be good for us.”
Q. What sides of the Ducati have you found to be advantages over your previous bike and what has been the most difficult to fully adapt to?
A. “Our speed is there and especially after the Misano test. We made some set-up changes. We started the year well, but there was a point in the season where we got a little bit stuck, so we made a pretty big change in the set-up. We introduced it already in India, but I had the crash. Then, it worked well in Australia and Thailand. It’s a set-up and a geometry of the bike that allows me to better apply my own riding style, even if we still have to fine-tune it a bit. I know I’m personally missing a bit of my pace because of the injury and that’s why I crashed in the last race too. Racing with no mistakes will be a key thing to get back our pace and race again at the front.”
Q. After weeks of rumors, it has been confirmed that you and your brother Marc, who is also an ambassador for Estrella Galicia 0,0, will be teammates again in 2024, this time with Ducati. How did you experience all this and what are you looking forward to next season with your brother in the same garage?
A. “2024 looks good, it looks nice. We were together in 2020, but it didn’t last long because of his serious arm injury, but life sometimes gives second chances and I think this is a very good one. I think he will also feel very comfortable, as I felt from the very first moment. Of course, there are jokes, the first one is about which side of the garage each of us will be on, but that’s already clear: he’s going to change his side and he’s going to work on the left side. I told him that I have been with the team for a year and also Nadia, owner of the team, already told me: “you have been on the right side and you won’t move”. So, apart from small jokes, it will be a key year for both of us; an important year because he is eight times world champion and we will be in the same garage as me. I hope he will be soon fast because, the sooner he is fast, the sooner I will take advantage of it, right? I’m looking forward to him testing the bike and giving his opinion, I know he’s a team-mate, it’s said that a teammate is always the first rival, that’s true, but that complicity and rivalry also helps to take a step forward.”
Q. Can you imagine both of you fighting for the championship next year?
A. “I hope it will be like that. For me it will be a very important year, as I said, a second year with the same bike and team, so we have to try to do big things. I think I have the speed and I just need to become more solid and make not so many mistakes. If we can start the year well, why could not we be fighting each other? I’m not saying so much for the title, because a season is very long and you have to balance many things, but I would like to stay constantly in the top five and, at the end of the year, to try to be in the top three of the World Championship.”
Q. Estrella Galicia 0,0 also sponsors surfing, where they use the saying “To those who always go with the flow, stand up and surf”. How would you make it your own? “To those who always…, … and …”.
A. “I would say: “To those who always doubt, stand up and work”, because in the end, if you work and get good results, you prove others were not right.”
Images and video courtesy Team Estrella Galicia