Having scored Honda’s only podiums in 2020 when he was a rookie, much was expected of the younger Marquez brother in 2021 on his switch to LCR with full factory backing from HRC.
However, Marquez has so far failed to make it out of Q1 in qualifying and has crashed out of three of the first five races this season.
Scoring his best result of the year last time out in the flag-to-flag French Grand Prix in sixth – with his best dry result an eighth in Portugal – Marquez says his main target ahead of this weekend’s Italian GP is to try “to enjoy” himself in dry conditions again.
“The main target for me is to enjoy on dry conditions because this is the main thing that I’m not really enjoying, honestly, because I miss some confidence and when you miss confidence you’re struggling on the bike,” he said.
“So, the main target is that, to get the confidence back and to be there.
“I think in Le Mans we did some good steps forward, but still there’s many things to try and many things to understand really well about this year’s bike and how we can be there.”
When asked by Motorsport.com where he is struggling compared to 2020, Marquez noted his Honda is reacting differently on corner entry as he is struggling with the bike’s engine braking in the way he has the RC213V set up.
“I mean, I’m struggling a little bit on front confidence,” he explained ahead of his first Mugello visit as a MotoGP rider.
“This is true on the brakes, but we are starting to understand why because in the end in the front part of the bike we didn’t change so well.
“It looks like for my package that I use we are struggling a little bit with engine braking and looks like we are in a different shape in that point compared to last year in that point in [corner] entry.
“So, everything is reacting in a different way, so we need to still understand those things, and if we make some steps in that part in the braking area it will be important for me on the confidence in the front and all these things, and if we will be again fast and confident on the bike and I will enjoy again.”