Now not the time to fight for MotoGP podiums

The six-time world champion has had a fraught start to the 2022 campaign as he has struggled to understand the radically-revised Honda MotoGP bike, which is now more rear biased to improve traction.

After finishing fifth in Qatar, Marquez was ruled out of the Indonesian Grand Prix after a violent warm-up crash left him with a concussion – which then led to the return of double vision problems, which forced him to sit out the following Argentina GP.

He returned for last week’s Americas GP, where he finished sixth after a stunning fightback from last when an issue with his bike saw him barely move away from the line at the start.

Marquez now sits 13th in the standings having scored just 21 points out of a possible 100.

Moving into the European phase of the championship starting next weekend in Portugal, Marquez doesn’t believe he has the performance to fight for wins at every circuit – but believes now is not the time to be thinking about podiums.

“Now we need to understand what our level is in European tracks, which I don’t think is the level to fight for the victory every race,” Marquez said at COTA.

“But another important thing, in a circuit I know very well [COTA]I know exactly where the weak points of the bike are.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: MotoGP

“I already pushed to Honda to say ‘you have to work there and there’ if you want to be competitive in the next races.

“It’s true that Pol [Espargaro] is riding well in some race tracks, [Takaaki] Nakagami is riding well in some race tracks.

“But we have some weak points that we need to improve if we want to be consistent in all race tracks.

“I mean what I learn is that with this championship, with this bike, you cannot predict the GP.

“You cannot go into a GP and say ‘this one I will win, this one I will finish top five, this one I will finish top 10’.

“You don’t know. During the weekend you need to accept where you are and if you are 10th, you are 10th.

“But of course I will take the risk and the target is to try to build the podium every race. But right now is not the time to fight for the podium.”

Marquez’s team-mate Pol Espargaro ended the COTA race 13th having battled a bout of food poisoning, and is the only Honda rider to get to the podium so far in 2022 after finishing third in Qatar.

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