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MotoGP field will “have a problem” with Marquez in COTA – Bastianini

Enea Bastianini says MotoGP’s return to the Circuit of the Americas next weekend will see the field “have a problem” with track specialist Marc Marquez.

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Eight-time grand prix world champion Marquez is the most successful rider on the grid at Texas’ Circuit of the Americas.

Marquez scored his first premier class win at the Austin-based venue in 2013 and followed it up with successive victories through to 2019 when a crash opened the door for Suzuki’s Alex Rins to win.

When COTA returned to the calendar in 2021 following a year’s absence due to the COVID pandemic, Marquez returned to the top step of the podium despite still recovering from the badly broken right arm he suffered in 2020.

The Spaniard has made a strong start to life as a Ducati rider with the Gresini team, finishing fourth in the Qatar GP and taking a first podium in the sprint at the Portuguese GP.

Factory Ducati rider Bastianini, who won at COTA in 2022, is keen to return to America next week but is wary of the threat Marquez poses.

“Yeah, I missed the race last year for my injury,” Bastianini said.

“I remember I have very good memories from the 2022.

Podium: Race winner Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing MotoGP

Podium: Race winner Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing MotoGP

Photo by: MotoGP

“Was my favourite win of that season and it's beautiful for me to be back in COTA.

“I know we [will] have a problem with Marc because he's really fast on this track, but also with other riders. Let's see how it is.”

Bastianini returned to the MotoGP podium last time out in Portugal for the first time since Malaysia last year, after finishing second to Pramac Ducati counterpart Jorge Martin.

Having struggled to get to grips with the 2023-spec Ducati around lengthy layoffs from various injuries, Bastianini’s start to 2024 has given him renewed confidence returned to Austin.

“The mentality will always be the same, because I think we started off on the right foot this year,” he noted.

“We worked well all winter, I knew it would be a little bit more difficult start [to the season], in the sense that in Qatar I suffered a little bit more.

“But we know what are the aspects we have to work on, so we are quite not to say calm, but confident.”

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