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Marquez’s Tactical Masterclass at French MotoGP: From P13 to Podium and the Battle with Bagnaia

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Marc Marquez shares strategy for challenging Pecco Bagnaia at the French MotoGP

Marc Marquez confesses that excellent starts in both the sprint and the grand prix at Le Mans were crucial to redeeming his weekend.

Marc Marquez showcased his exceptional talent once again, climbing from 13th position to finish in second place for the second consecutive MotoGP race at Le Mans.

Despite not advancing as many places during the initial lap as he did in the sprint, Marquez had climbed to eighth position by the conclusion of the first lap.

Marquez gradually overtook each competitor in front of him, eventually catching up with Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia to contend for the win.

In a bold maneuver on the last lap, Marquez managed to snatch the second-place spot from Bagnaia, yet his pursuit of a maiden victory with Ducati goes on.

"Today, we approached the podium with a more gradual strategy," Marquez explained. "Indeed, yesterday we had an exceptional beginning which secured me the second spot in the sprint race, yet as I've mentioned before, what truly mattered was having the speed to advance and make a comeback."

"I was aware that my speed was sufficient, so my strategy was to gradually pass the other competitors. During the moment I was contending for third place, we fell behind a bit due to Diggia. However, I then concluded that securing third place would be satisfactory."

"However, I found myself gaining on them and my speed was consistent. I anticipated Pecco would make a move on Martin towards the end, which led me to make my move on him instead."

Talking about his beginnings, Marquez adopted a unique strategy for the sprint, having secured fewer spots compared to the initial sprint.

Marquez mentioned, "It was a positive beginning, and I managed to climb a few spots, but in the first three turns, I struggled to find the right trajectory."

"I took a broad path around that quick bend. From then on, I told myself, 'Alright, gradually attempt to make a comeback'."

Upon reaching their position, and even while trailing behind Bastianini, it was evident that they exhibited impressive acceleration as they exited turn eight.

"In the main stretch, our speeds were comparable, but around turns seven and eight, that's where I fell behind a bit more."

"However, I excelled in different areas, such as the left-hand turns or the spots where I passed Pecco. In those moments, I truly felt powerful, but since I haven't tested the bike, it could be that my bike performs better in those conditions."

Though Marquez's return to the track was impressive, he acknowledged that consistently achieving such outcomes from the back of the pack is unsustainable.

"Finishing in 13th position really set us back in the race, but we managed to recover from it," commented the ex-Repsol Honda competitor.

"In the future, it will be harder since you're only allowed to save once or twice annually. However, this past weekend, we implemented a change on Friday and decided on a path that wasn't beneficial."

"After our return on Saturday, we found ourselves behind schedule. Following that, we made adjustments to the electronic configurations. It wasn't until the sprint race that I truly felt comfortable handling the bike."

"Right from the start, these two individuals have shown remarkable speed and are incredibly ingenious in coming up with their concepts."

Marquez clearly demonstrated why Ducati is considering moving him up to the main team. However, the challenge for the eight-time world champion is that Jorge Martin outperformed him in both instances at Le Mans.

Ducati's move is expected to open opportunities for various racers to start discussions about their career prospects, potentially involving Marquez, especially if Martin, who has emerged as the quickest and most reliable rider in 2024, secures that position.

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