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MotoGP Spanish GP

Marquez: Learning from Ducati MotoGP “reference” Bagnaia “a pleasure”

Marc Marquez says learning from Ducati’s “reference” rider Francesco Bagnaia in 2024 has so far been a “pleasure” following their Jerez MotoGP duel.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

The reigning double world champion and the Gresini rider locked horns in last Sunday’s 25-lap Spanish Grand Prix for the victory in a thrilling battle.

Bagnaia ultimately came out on top, though only by 0.372 seconds to Marquez, who celebrated his first grand prix podium as a Gresini Ducati rider.

The pair have clashed on track several times before, with Bagnaia’s first MotoGP win at Aragon in 2021 coming after intense pressure from the eight-time world champion.

In Portugal this year, the pair were battling for the top five when the collided controversially.

As both enthused about their victory battle, Marquez said: “For me, as I said in Portimao to him, it’s a pleasure to fight against the world champion and the reference in the Ducati group.

“[In the Spanish GP], one more time, I was on his level and I was fighting against him.

“I had the speed enough to try to overtake. So, for me already, it’s a pleasure to learn from him.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team podium race

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing, Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team podium race

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Still, he has some stronger points than me, but let’s see if in the future I can be a little bit better and closer to him.”

With championship leader Jorge Martin crashing out of the grand prix, Marquez currently sits 32 points behind in sixth in the standings.

This comes after Marquez, who qualified on pole at Jerez, felt like his adaptation to the GP23 had “finished”.

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But after four rounds of the season, the Gresini rider – who last won the title in 2019 – says “it’s too early” to be thinking about the standings.

“For me, it’s too early,” he said of the championship. “It’s not like ‘no, I don’t want the championship’. But it’s too early to think about the championship because I know, and I already understand, that there will be race tracks where I will struggle a lot.

“But let’s see. Still, at the moment we need to keep going, with this bike I feel some of my strong points of my riding style are a little bit weaker, but one of the weak points is a little bit stronger.”

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