Johann Zarco, Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Viñales, Joan Mir, Miguel Oliveira and Marc Márquez protagonists at the MotoGP press conference. Their words.
After the double round in Losail, the MotoGP World Championship moves to Europe, precisely at the Autódromo do Algarve in Portimao. The first stop on our continent also coincides with Marc Márquez‘s return to racing after nine months of stoppage due to injury and consequent complications. He is the main protagonist of the inaugural press conference of this GP, together with provisional leader Johann Zarco, Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Viñales, reigning champion Joan Mir and 2020 hero Miguel Oliveira. There is no shortage of words of the welcome back for the multiple MotoGP champion, “Good news for our sport.”
Marc Márquez is certainly very happy with the return, but he is also the first to preach patience. “It has been a very complex and difficult nine months,” he stressed. “Tomorrow will be the most important step in my rehabilitation. I feel butterflies in my stomach and I feel quite nervous, but after FP1 everything will be fine.” But above all “I’m not the same Marc, I need time to get back to being competitive. Rehabilitation is a physical but also a mental process. I didn’t go back to Qatar because I didn’t feel 100% and the doctors stopped me. In general, I didn’t just have doubts about my return to racing, but also about the condition of the arm. In each case, I start again one step at a time, after the private tests, but with another bike, this is my preseason.”
Johann Zarco arrives as championship leader after the double podium in the first two GPs. “It’s the best position to start the European tour,” he said. “Here in Portimao, the bike went well last year, as shown by Miller‘s 2nd place as well as my feeling last year. We will try to be fast right from FP1. We are optimistic and being a leader always brings something extra to push towards the podium.” But without pressure. “In a way, being on the satellite team is better, they don’t ask you to try anything more and the target doesn’t change. Of course, the bike has the potential to win in the race, so we will certainly try.” Regarding the well-known holeshot device, “It was a great step forward, we’re really off to a great start. In Ducati, they worked really well.“
YAMAHA AND THE OTHERS
Fabio Quartararo arrives with a victory on the scoresheet in the first two events of the season, a result that gives him a lot of confidence. But look to Portimao for a clearer idea of Yamaha. “It will be time to see our level,” he stressed. “I have a good feeling with the bike, unlike last year, and I think we can do well. In 2020 it was certainly not the best track for us, and it will be an opportunity to see our potential with the new M1.” A speech to which box mate Maverick Viñales also trains. “Last year we touched the bike too much and we lost our way,” he admitted. “Then we came from a very complex moment. This year we have good potential, although we will certainly have to work on it.”
Il campione in carica Joan Mir non ha iniziato l’anno come avrebbe voluto. Ora guarda a Portimao, dimenticando l’inglorioso finale di stagione 2020. “La performance dell’anno scorso non ci dice molto: abbiamo avuto tanti problemi tecnici. Un peccato, visto che questa pista mi piace molto.” E sul holeshot device, “Stiamo spingendo per averlo, sarebbe utile soprattutto se partiamo indietro.” Per finire con Miguel Oliveira, che arrivando in circuito è stato accolto calorosamente per strada da un buon numero di tifosi. “Non me l’aspettavo” ha ammesso. “Ma è stato davvero bello vedere la gente fuori in attesa per salutarmi.” Certo inevitabile ricordare il glorioso GP 2020, ma su questo non si sbilancia. “È un privilegio correre in casa, ma penso solo a fare bene ed a dare il massimo.”