Marc Marquez is no stranger to pushing the boundaries on the MotoGP track, but his latest challenge comes in the form of adapting to the Ducati GP23 after years with Honda.
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The Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is now his testing ground, where he’s striving to bridge the gap between his Honda instincts and the demands of his new ride.
Wednesday saw Marquez clocking in 72 laps, a marked improvement from Tuesday’s mechanical woes. Yet, despite his determination, he ended the day in 14th place, nearly a second behind Enea Bastianini’s factory Ducati.
The heart of Marquez’s struggle lies in the stark differences between how Honda and Ducati utilize their rear tires. It’s a learning curve he’s confronting head-on, recognizing that old habits die hard after 11 years with Honda.
“The way to use the rear tire is completely different,” Marquez acknowledges. “For that reason, I’m still riding the Ducati like a Honda.”
But he’s not one to back down from a challenge. Marquez understands the importance of unlearning old patterns to fully embrace the potential of his Ducati. “It’s a process,” he says, reflecting on the journey ahead.
One of the key areas of adjustment is in braking and rear tire usage. While he finds himself gaining ground on braking compared to other Ducati riders, it’s the acceleration, particularly out of fast corners, where he struggles to leverage the bike’s rear grip.
Marquez’s limited time on the Ducati translates to a struggle for single-lap pace, compounded by the challenge of understanding how to maximize new tires on the bike. However, his optimism shines through as he reflects on his ability to find rhythm during longer runs.
“In the last part of the day, I had one tire for the time attack,” Marquez shares. “During the sprint race, I was starting slower and ending faster, showing progress with each lap.”
It’s a testament to Marquez’s resilience and determination. While the road ahead may be paved with challenges, his willingness to adapt and learn speaks volumes about his potential on the Ducati.
As he continues to navigate the nuances of his new ride, one thing remains clear: Marc Marquez is a force to be reckoned with, no matter the bike beneath him.