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Why Pol Espargaro was faster than Marc Marquez

Marc Márquez was among the front runners at the 2022 MotoGP season opener in Qatar. Eventually, the Honda rider finished fifth.

“The race distance was my biggest question mark,” says the Spaniard. Because it was his first Grand Prix since the end of October last year.

“Physically, I didn’t have any problems. Of course I’m tired, but I wasn’t in pain. That’s very important,” says Márquez happily. And his sporting conclusion is simple: “Four drivers were faster than me.”

“Before the race I was optimistic that it would be a slower race. But the pace was incredible. I didn’t have the speed. Above all, I didn’t have optimal confidence in the front tire. Everyone managed the rear tire. We knew that before the race .”

“That’s why I tried the medium front tire in warm-up. But I crashed. That’s why I took the soft front tire because I knew it better. I attacked and tried it. But when I saw that it was no longer possible was, I finished fifth.”

The six-time MotoGP world champion is not dissatisfied: “But even then I only lost four seconds to the winner. It wasn’t the best race, but a solid one.” His teammate Pol Espargaro made it onto the podium in third place.

The new Honda RC213V showed its potential right from the first race. Espargaro and Márquez led after the start. Espargaro led the field for the first 17 laps. But then he had to back off a little with the rear tire declining.

Márquez still has to work on the set-up

How does Marquez rate his teammate’s performance? “Pol has been riding a bit better than me all weekend. It seems he can slow the bike down very well entering corners with the rear brake. I can’t use the rear brake that well yet.”

“Ever since Pol got this bike, he drives very well,” says Márquez, praising his Spanish compatriot. “It’s good to have that reference in the pits. Now I need to understand what he did better this weekend.”

“We’re discovering different things about this bike. It’s been going much better since the first test. Here we haven’t changed that much because it was the first race. We didn’t want to lose our way and we focused on the race and the tyres. “

“There were two factors here. I don’t have the best confidence in the front tire at the moment. Also, I had a crash in warm-up. That’s why I had doubts. I’ve always had problems with the front tire in Qatar.”

“In Mandalika we will continue to work on adapting the bike for me. You have to ride this bike differently, but the potential is there. Qatar is a special circuit. We will better understand where we are at the next circuits.”

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