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    16 February 2024

    Martin: Marquez poised to contend for MotoGP wins right from the beginning of the season

    Marquez and Martin Ready to Battle in MotoGP Season Opener

    Six-time world champion Marc Marquez is set to make his debut with the Gresini-run Ducati team this season, after leaving Honda following an 11-year partnership. During the first pre-season test at Sepang, Marquez encountered some technical issues that hindered his track time. Despite finishing with the sixth quickest time over three days of testing, he admitted that he was still adapting his riding style from Honda to Ducati.

    Last year’s championship runner-up Jorge Martin believes that Marquez could be a strong contender for victory in the season opener. Speaking about Marquez’s performance during the test, Martin said with confidence: “He’s where I expected him to be, so he will definitely be a close competitor and could potentially clinch victory in Qatar.”

    Martin himself performed impressively during the Sepang test, finishing second overall just behind reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia by a mere 0.172 seconds. Reflecting on his own progress and experience from last season’s battles with Bagnaia for the title, Martin feels more prepared than ever for this year’s challenge.

    “I feel quite strong,” stated Martin confidently. “With another year under my belt and greater precision in my comments regarding bike performance improvements, I believe we are making significant progress.”

    Despite his readiness for competition against Pecco (Francesco Bagnaia), Martin acknowledges that there will be many other contenders on race day:

    “I feel ready for everything. However, these tests are difficult to analyze since many riders have demonstrated impressive pace. We still need to consider the impact of different tire choices and strategies. It won’t be just Pecco and me battling it out; there will be several other strong contenders.”

    Ducati introduced a new fairing during the test, which initially posed some challenges for Martin. However, on the final day of testing, Martin managed to find his rhythm with the new fairing and was relieved after seeing its benefits from other Ducati riders.

    “I had my doubts when I saw that Pecco (Bagnaia) and Enea (Bastianini) adapted well to the new fairing while I struggled,” revealed Martin candidly. “Thankfully, we made it work today after multiple adjustments during our back-to-back testing session. Finally, we have a solid package heading into 2024.”

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