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Marquez "gave up" maiden Ducati MotoGP podium shot in Qatar GP

Marc Marquez says he "gave up" on pushing for a maiden MotoGP podium with Gresini Ducati in the Qatar Grand Prix because he "finished" his front tyre.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The eight-time grand prix world champion enjoyed a strong debut on the 2023-spec Ducati in Qatar, finishing fifth in the sprint before going one better in the grand prix.

Marquez put Pramac's Jorge Martin under pressure for third in the second half of the grand prix and got to within four tenths of the Spaniard at one point.

But struggling with the front tyre, Marquez could only see himself crashing if he pushed any harder in the last laps.

"We analysed with the team a lot of things to try to manage the start, it was better today," the Gresini rider said.

"So, this helped the race a lot. Then I was able to manage well the tyres.

"The thing was yesterday I struggled and today most of the riders were managing the rear, but I was managing the front more than the rear because every year with the other bike [the Honda] I was struggling a bit with the front tyre in this race track.

"Anyway, I need to improve my riding style in some points because still I'm not riding well. But today the race was constant, solid.

"I did my attack in the last eight laps, and when I did the attack it was when I started to push more with the front and I finished the front tyre, and the last two laps I gave up because I saw the chance to crash and the chance to take two more points, three more points…

"I preferred to finish fourth and wait for two weeks in Portimao."

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez feels his riding style is gradually adapting to what the Ducati needs, but cautioned that at the second round in Portugal, he will "start from zero" because he came into the Qatar GP with data to use from the test at the Losail track.

"Portimao will be an important weekend because normally in the tests, in Malaysia and here, I take time to arrive in the good lap times," he added.

"So, the fact we had a test here two weeks ago helps me a lot this weekend.

"So, in Portimao, we will start from zero. There is where we need to understand where we are. But apart from that, still I feel I am improving my riding style step by step.

"There will arrive a point where there will be a wall. Then you have to find a small hole to find just some tenths.

"But at the moment, it's Bagnaia and Martin who were today faster than me and I must learn from them."

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