Marquez cautious about chances at anti-clockwise Aragon
Friday 10th September, 2021 - 4:25pm
Marc Marquez believes the Aragon MotoGP round will not necessarily be too easy despite the relief of the anti-clockwise layout for his right-hand side.
Marquez missed the first two rounds of 2021 due to the arm which he broke badly in Round 1 of 2020 and has been taking painkillers to get through most weekends since.
He has just one podium for the year to date, in the German Grand Prix, but that happened to be a win.
Notably, that event is held at the Sachsenring, the only anti-clockwise circuit on the calendar before MotorLand Aragon plays host this weekend.
It means that Marquez will again be more often leaning into his ‘good’ side than the injured side of his body, but he still expects the event to have a physical toll on him.
“I know that in FP1, I’ll feel very good,” said the Repsol Honda rider, who has won in each of his last four starts at Aragon.
“But it’s something that over the weekend we’ll have to understand.
“It’s true that it’s a circuit that I like, a layout that I like, and left corners that stress less the right arm.
“But we’ll see, because sometimes the position in the left corners isn’t completely natural.
“But, I just want to ride the bike and not think a lot about the bike and the injury.”
While it was the humerus that Marquez broke last year at Jerez, the long lay-off caused him to lose strength in his right shoulder also.
He has spoken throughout this season about an inability to position himself on his RC213V in a comfortable way, and while a recent move back to a scooter-style brake on his left handlebar has helped, it is not a silver bullet.
“It’s true that this year I’m struggling in many areas,” admitted the six-time premier class champion.
“Some of these areas are the same areas as where we struggled in the past, but some are new. Some are places where we could manage in the past by adapting.
“I try in my mind, it’s something that I want to do, but I can’t at the moment, so then I try to adapt the bike in different ways to absorb or lose less time at those specific points.
“The scooter rear brake is something that I already tried in the past, but I felt like it wasn’t a big improvement, but now I’ve tried it again with some modifications.
“If you’re struggling in some areas and you want to find something extra, then sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Marquez was a DNF last time out at Silverstone, having clattered into Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin in a Lap 1 battle for fifth.
He explained that the attempted pass was part of his usual strategy to make up as much ground as possible in the opening laps, but that is a task made harder by his physical condition hampering him in qualifying.
“Normally in the first laps I try to find a good position,” remarked #93.
“But it isn’t the same starting from the first or second row as from the third or fourth row. It’s completely different.
“It’s true that most of this year, during the first laps, I gain a lot of positions, because it’s one of my strong points and I need to take profit from it.
“But we need to improve our speed because the further in front you start the easier everything becomes.
“We struggle more on fast laps, and I’m more or less able to have good race pace now. You have to stay with the front group in the early laps because if you lose them, you lose the race.
“The struggle in the fast lap is because of the shoulder because with the new tyre, everything becomes more physical.
“When you have a lack of grip, you have some movement and everything is softer; you have to ride smoother.
“But, in a fast lap with very high grip, everything is more aggressive and that’s where I’m still struggling. I can’t take the profit of a new tyre.”
Practice for Round 13 of the MotoGP season starts tonight (AEST).