He has just returned after a month and a half hiatus due to a fractured right thumb and Marc Márquez already monopolizes all the spotlights of the MotoGP World Championship at the French GP. The Honda driver, as if nothing had happened, slipped into the front row of the grid at Le Mans (the race, this Sunday: at 2:00 p.m., on DAZN) with a new display of combative spirit and mischief. Picking up the wheel, a strategy for which his rivals increasingly point to him, but which he has never hidden, the man from Cervera achieved second place behind the Ducati of Pecco Bagnaia. Next, the great reference and leader of the contest had them with him during a vibrant ‘sprint’ race.
Precisely the Italian, current world champion, criticized on Friday the game of cat and mouse that Márquez uses to overcome the rhythm problems of his mount. “We all know the speed he has. Each one has his own strategy, but taking the wheel he takes it to another level. If you stop and put your foot on the ground, he does the same. I don’t know what is the reason that leads him to do that”, said the number one, who celebrated pole position angrily and raised his fist. In Saturday’s race, both had a firefight duel, plagued with tension and with the man from ilerdense getting into the head of the number one. “Marc has passed me very aggressively and I have lost several positions,” the Italian complained in the parc fermé, without anyone asking him. Despite the fact that he was able to return the play by pulling power and composure to climb to the podium, the Ducati mainstay was disturbed by a touch from Márquez.
In the middle of the troubled river, both the winner, Jorge Martín from Madrid, and Brad Binder, second after starring in another outstanding comeback from tenth place, caught fish. The 93rd, with an unexpected pace, but ultimately insufficient, settled for fifth place behind Luca Marini, Valentino Rossi’s brother. “I was going fast, but I didn’t feel the bike,” Márquez told the DAZN microphones about his feelings on Friday. “Today, with the same motorcycle, exactly the same, it seemed different. And it was me, so many days at home are noticeable and little by little I have been gaining confidence ”, he added after not having a single street motorcycle in seven weeks.
In training he fell twice due to that lack of tact and due to the tests of the new Kalex chassis, an external supplier that seems to open up a ray of hope in terms of rhythm and stability for the Hondas and that convinced the man from Cervera enough. “Everything helps,” he acknowledged with a sincere smile. However, he was able to sneak into the top ten to fight for ‘pole’ looking for the fastest wheel again. The realization of the World Cup, very attentive, captured the angry reaction from the wall of Davide Tardozzi, director of the Ducati team, when they saw on the screen a scare from the Catalan with the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaró, with whom he almost collided.
His presence and lack of scruples on the track has made more than one nervous on the asphalt, but the eight-time world champion is closed to criticism, at least from the outside. Márquez began the weekend by leaving a message to his most significant enemies. “The easy thing is to hit someone when he is down. You have to accept it, be quiet and keep working”, he released about the criticism leveled after his attack on Miguel Oliveira in the Portuguese GP, where he started with pole position and a podium finish in the ‘sprint’ before retiring with a bump and injury in the long race . “Nobody can talk too much, because if you throw shit on another driver in the next race it can happen to you… sometimes we go to the limit and make mistakes.”
In this way, Márquez closed Saturday with another open message, this time addressed to the current world champion. “This is racing. Some overtake on the straights, others on the curves”, fired the only driver on the grid who goes beyond the prevailing good spirit. With 12 points and 82 behind the championship leader after missing three grand prix, he doesn’t lack confidence to go all out. The rivals, who know him only too well, are anxiously watching how far he can take the Honda this Sunday.
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