Marc Marquez: I’d Take a Podium Finish Any Day, Victory Is a Bonus.

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Marc Marquez: “If you told me today, ‘You’ll secure your first [Ducati] podium,’ I’d sign right away.”

Marc Marquez is downplaying expectations of adding to his COTA victory streak of seven wins with a debut Ducati triumph in Sunday’s Americas MotoGP.

Marquez sat out last year’s event due to injury but boasted an unbeaten record at COTA from 2013 to 2018. He then secured a seventh win in 2021 and impressively charged from last to 6th place after a startline hiccup in 2022.

After making the move from Repsol Honda to Gresini Ducati, the six-time MotoGP champion clinched his first Sprint podium aboard a Desmosedici in Portimao.

However, a clash with Francesco Bagnaia for fifth place in the grand prix resulted in both riders hitting the ground and missing out on points.

Marquez emphasized that even without the incident, there were “three or four riders faster” than him and that he’d gladly settle for a podium finish on Sunday.

“We’re heading to a track that suits my riding style well. Of course, in the past, we’ve had some great results, but at the moment — as we saw in Portimao — there are three or four riders quicker than me,” Marquez commented.

“So, let’s see if I can narrow the gap a bit. If you were to tell me today, on Thursday, ‘You’ll achieve your first [Ducati] podium,’ I’d sign. Before aiming for a victory, we need to reach the podium. So, it’s a step-by-step approach.”

Despite this, Marquez highlighted that Qatar and Portimao were not tracks where he historically shone, whereas he had been dominant at COTA for several years.

In contrast, Ducati’s lone COTA victory thus far came from Enea Bastianini in 2022 when the Italian, now Francesco Bagnaia’s factory Ducati teammate, rode for Gresini.

“Of course, they [Ducati and Honda] are entirely different bike concepts,” Marquez noted. “The Honda excelled in stop-and-go corners, as demonstrated by Alex Rins here last year, and as Joan Mir and I showed in India, more or less.

“We’ll see how the Ducati performs here. I understand it will be different, but my goal is to find a rhythm on this track. It’s a circuit I enjoy, so we’ll aim to savor it and then assess.

“The primary reason [for my success here] is that it’s an anti-clockwise track with more left turns than right. That’s the major distinction. Also, I favor stop-and-go corners.

“Moreover, one of the fondest memories of my career is here, where I claimed my first MotoGP victory in just the second race.

“It will be challenging to secure victory [this weekend] because, as I’ve mentioned, our first focus is to achieve a stronger result on race day, as we haven’t yet been able to challenge for the podium.

“We’re within the top five, but the podium has eluded us thus far.”

The incident in Portimao has left Marquez 33 points adrift from the current championship leader, Jorge Martin.

Bagnaia, who crashed out of the lead in last year’s COTA race, unexpectedly handed a victory to LCR Honda’s Alex Rins.

It marked the first RC213V triumph since Marquez’s most recent victory at Misano in 2021.

Stay tuned with We4GP for more news.

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