Before the MotoGP race in India, Francesco Bagnaia said aloud what can be seen from afar. Marc Marquez is not the same after a disastrous, crash-filled race weekend at the Sachsenring.
The German circuit was one of the venues where the eight-time world champion was at his strongest since his first MotoGP race in 2018. But this year he crashed there as many as five times, and then the capricious Honda, who wanted to throw him out of the saddle again, showed the middle and canceled the performance in Sunday's race. Due to injuries, the Spaniard also missed the next race in the Netherlands, and after the summer break he drove with a clearly different approach. "In a total of six races, I broke three bones and tore one ligament," he explained. "A new approach is needed."
Since then, Marquez has not been chasing high-profile results, instead focusing on the development of the motorcycle, and it was only at the Austrian Grand Prix that he reached the finish line of Sunday's race for the first time this year, and his rivals also noticed a different approach. Brad Binder said it was sad to see champions Marquez and Quartararo in so much trouble, and Pecco Bagnaia agreed.
"It's certainly not easy for them, especially for Marc, who tried hard to be in the front rows in the first races of the season. But in doing so he took many risks and often fell. However, it is obvious that after the Sachsenring, something in his mentality has changed, because this is not the real Marc. This is clear to everyone."
Bagnaia, on the other hand, has a little difficulty understanding Quartararo's problems. "It's also difficult for Fabio, I don't know what role his mentality plays, because the new Yamaha motorcycle is faster on the flats than the previous one, which was always in the front, in the fight for victories, so it's hard for me to understand his position."
The Italian, however, is aware that things turn around quickly in MotoGP. "When I came to MotoGP, I found myself in the same position, but then things took a turn for the better. I entered MotoGP with the Pramac team and rode the same bike as in 2017 with a new swingarm. It was a mix and I kept falling without understanding why. The first two seasons were very difficult, but when I joined the factory team, things took a turn for the better."
The Ducati racer remarked that all the best racers have a period when they just don't do well. "Vale (Valentino Rossi) won from 2001 to 2005 and then was beaten in 2006, Marc won from 2013 to 2014 and then from 2016 to 2019. When the bike works well, or when your style matches behind the bike, you don't have to to think, you can just enjoy the ride. It's a great feeling that makes it possible to achieve top results.”
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