MotoGP: Marc Marquez Says Jerez Podium Was “First Step”

MotoGP: Marc Marquez Says Jerez Podium Was “First Step”

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

“At Le Mans, the party starts on Wednesday!”

Thursday, 09 May 2024

After a rip-roaring Spanish GP, it’s time for another and this time at classic Le Mans. First, the podcast welcomed Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team rider and 2023 French GP winner Marco Bezzecchi to the show to talk a little about his roots and life as the inimitable Bez.

The first press conference for the riders then got in gear, with Championship leader Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) joined by now-closest challenger Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and fellow Jerez protagonist Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™).

Then, rookie Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) was joined by the home heroes for press conference two as Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Johann Zarco (CASTROL Honda LCR) gear up for the French GP.

Here are some photos and quotes from the opening day… although as the title suggests, the party very much already started!

 

Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jorge Martin. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

JORGE MARTIN

How are you feeling heading into Le Mans?

“I feel good, I would have liked to share the podium in Jerez with Marc and Pecco but I couldn’t. I was confident at that point in the race but then I crashed and it is what it is. The most important thing is that we have the speed and that at every track we are fast, so I really confident that we will do the same here. Every track is different but I always feel fast, so I am relaxed and happy.”

 

Francesco Pecco Bagnaia. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

PECCO BAGNAIA

How confident are you to fight at the front in France?

“One of my strongest points as a rider is that I don’t care if I am losing time the day before or if I crash because I know if everything goes well I can fight back and fight for a win. Last year every weekend I was more or less like this on the Friday where we struggled, but then we were able to fight for the top positions in the race. Le Mans is always a good weekend for me, I love the track and love looking at the grandstands and every corner with loads of fans. The only bad thing is the last two times at Le Mans I’ve been unable to finish the race, one being my fault and the other from contact but the potential was always high and we can fight at the front.”

 

Marc Marquez. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marc Marquez. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

MARC MARQUEZ

Why was the Jerez podium so special?

“It was special to see how far we had come from a very difficult moment, as it was a long time since we got a podium in dry conditions and to fight with the winner of the race and be able to have the pace. It was something which felt really good because it had been a really long time since I felt fast in the race on Sunday. It is the first step, we will have some problems in the future at some circuits but it was a pleasure to fight with two guys who were at a high level last year and were title contenders.”

Has Davide Tardozzi bought you new leathers as he promised?

“No, of course haha. We know Davide well and how hot it was in the race. All the times that I was fighting with Andrea Dovizioso, we had a good relationship and he knew that if I was there I would try. This time I was also a part of the Ducati brand but as I said on Sunday it was a pleasure to fight with the World Champion until the last lap.”

 

Pedro Acosta. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Pedro Acosta. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

PEDRO ACOSTA

How are you looking forward to riding a MotoGP™ bike in Le Mans at Tech3’s home race?

“It has always been a track that I’ve enjoyed but the last three years that I have raced here I have been fast but then I crashed so let’s hope I can finish the race for the first time in three years. It is my second home GP in a row so I am super happy to see the fans and to share it with the whole team!”

 

Fabio Quartararo. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

FABIO QUARTARARO

How much of an extra boost does racing in front of your home crowd give you, and what are your expectations?

“It is always special to be here and unique, it is one of the only tracks where the party starts on Wednesday – you can hear the fans revving their bikes! We will try some things from the test, it is not a massive difference but we will have some items from the test but it is difficult to give our expectations.”

What new items will you try?

“We will have a new chassis, and we were meant to have a swingarm that we planned to use but we will not try it here as we will test it at Mugello after the Grand Prix.”

 

Johann Zarco. Photo courtesy Dorna.
Johann Zarco. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

JOHANN ZARCO

How are you enjoying the challenge, and what is a realistic goal for you this weekend?

“It is a nice experience to live and because I knew the challenge was going to be tough. In the moment you can get frustrated but later you understand that the work is done and you tried your best. I did not expect to have so much support from the crowd yesterday and this morning and I am hoping that will give me a little boost this weekend. A realistic goal is to get a few points, around 10th position which would be a good result and I would be glad to take that here. It would give a new push for my team and Honda, we don’t have anything to try at the moment because we had a test in Jerez where we could see if things were working or not so we have kept it simple to use the best of what we have at the moment.”

 

French fans along the front straightaway Thursday at Le Mans. Photo courtesy Dorna.
French fans along the front straightaway Thursday at Le Mans. Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

 
French GP fans go all-in on Thursday

It has to been seen and heard to be believed. The seeing, at least, we can help with thanks to a few stunning postcards from the pitlane walk and special Canal+ live event held on the main straight on Thursday evening. The hearing can be enjoyed on the event broadcast or across social media, including MotoGP™’s instagram story!

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