LONDON : There is an old saying in motorsport that to finish first, first you have to finish and six-times MotoGP champion Marc Marquez needs no reminding after failing to complete a grand prix this year.
After a season of crashes, injuries and absences, the Spaniard said on Thursday he would be going into this weekend’s British round at Silverstone with a fresh focus.
“This second part of the season I think and I believe I need to approach in a different way than the first part of the season,” he told Reuters.
The 30-year-old factory Honda rider, who last won in September 2021, has scored points in Saturday sprints – but only a meagre 15 – and is 19th in the overall standings after missing five of eight grands prix.
Marquez still believed he could win again, and maybe even challenge for another title one day, but first he needed to go back to basics.
“I am coming here in Silverstone with the mentality to find the base(line). To not exaggerate, to not do crazy things,” he added, while admitting there was only so much he could control.
“The thing is people say don’t take a risk but the last rider on the MotoGP grid is taking a risk on the bike. You need to push and everybody is super-fast and super-good in MotoGP,” he said.
“I need to rebuild my confidence, I need to find a way. In Assen it was one of the hardest moments in my career on the mental side. So now it’s time to rebuild all these things.
“Sometimes you need to approach in a different way the races and try to be a little more calm and try to finish more races,” he added.
CIRCLE OF FRUSTRATION
Marquez withdrew from the Dutch TT at Assen in June after finishing 17th in a Saturday sprint. In Germany, the round before, he crashed five times.
The Spaniard said he had recovered from a fractured rib and ankle injury and was in a good place mentally.
Australian Wayne Gardner, the 1987 500cc world champion, recently told Spain’s that he felt Marquez should retire, however.
“The mentality changes, the body weakens and all of this becomes a circle of frustration,” he said.
“I’m a big fan of his, but I’m afraid he’ll get hurt if he tries to come back. The bikes have changed, the riders are much younger. He is already 30 years old and it is a different mentality.”
The Spaniard, whose 2022 season and career-threatening injuries were chronicled in a Red Bull TV docu-series “Marc Marquez:ALL IN”, said he respected Gardner’s advice but made clear he would not be following it.
“I am a real fighter and I never give up. It’s true that I had a lot of injuries but still I feel well about the physical side, still on training bikes, motocross I’m faster or same as before,” he added.
“Still I think that I can be competitive here. For that reason I am keeping going and also the motivation is high.”
Marquez said he remained loyal to Honda, with whom he has a contract to the end of next year.