Marquez ‘doesn’t trust Qatar’ to show MotoGP grid form

LCR’s Alex Marquez admits he ‘doesn’t trust’ the Qatar circuit to show the true form of the 2021 Honda or its MotoGP rivals following pre-season testing.

Marquez ‘doesn’t trust Qatar’ to show MotoGP grid form

Honda had a mixed test in Qatar last week after its riders registered 10 crashes across four days, with Marquez accounting for five of those – the last one resulting in a fractured foot.

The Japanese marque’s top rider at the end of testing was factory team rookie Pol Espargaro in 10th, 0.716 seconds off the pace, while Marquez was 1.5s off the pace in 18th.

But while Honda’s showing was low-key, there was little concern emitted from the HRC camp following testing, with the 2021 package not radically altered from the RC213V Marquez scored two podiums on in 2020.

Marquez feels the 2021 bike has “improved” on some aspects of last year’s bike, but concedes the Losail circuit where the championship’s first two rounds of the season will take place is “not a good reference” for form.

Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda

Alex Marquez, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“The bike is very similar to the one in 2020,” Marquez said.

“We have improved some things but I don't trust the Qatar circuit much, it is not a good reference.

“It will be a somewhat strange start to the world championship, we will have to wait for some races, until after Jerez to see where each bike is.”

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Commenting on the crashes he had in testing, Marquez said: “There were a lot of crashes (in general) and I think it's something quite particular to Qatar.

“When conditions change the front tyres were difficult to manage.

“We saw the Yamahas go down, they don't do it too much.

“The important thing is that every crash I have had I have understood and I have gone faster afterwards.

“Hopefully everything will go a little easier [during the race weekend], the important thing is to understand them and draw conclusions.”

He added: “My foot is quite good, at home and recovering, the bruise has gone a lot.

“If I don't get to the race 100%, there will be little left [in terms of recovery], then on the bike, with adrenaline, the pain goes away. I hope it doesn't bother me.”

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