Marc Marquez in front of his destroyed Repsol Honda in the gravel bed of the Circuito de Jerez – the 2019 world champion had imagined his comeback very differently when he publicly announced at the beginning of his forced break at the end of July 2020 “I will come back stronger than ever”.

The huge problems facing the two Marquez brothers make you think

In the meantime, even from TV commentators, such as the former Grand Prix pilot August “Gustl” Auinger, one hears more and more critical voices about the behavior of the older of the two. With the otherwise very cautious 5-time GP winner, this is almost like an outburst of emotion. But not only the Austrians, but also many fans, cannot understand why the 6-time MotoGP world champion behaves so noticeably clumsy. In the eyes of many observers, it simply seems unfair to constantly watch out for faster drivers in qualifying in order to follow them like a shadow on a fast lap. In times of very questionable punishments like the “Track-Limit-Violation”, quite a few people rightly say that “stalking” should also be punished just as rigorously in the larger classes as in Moto3.

Alex (left) and Marc Marquez (right) on the pursuit of “pacemaker” Jack Miller on the Ducati Lenovo – sometimes the two brothers even set out to chase other drivers together in order to learn something from them. Not all observers understand this and there are also drivers like Joan Mir in Portugal who have publicly complained bitterly about it.

Not only a loss of sympathy – also the respect of the opponents decreases
The fact that Marc Marquez publicly described himself as handicapped in the run-up to the Grand Prix of Portugal and then went full steam ahead during the entire race has not been forgotten by many. Even before the race, he had emphasized that he might not be able to hold out the full distance. In addition, there were plenty of theatrical arm exercises that already cost him a lot of sympathy before the first start after the forced break. It was his brother Alex, of all people, who had driven behind him for a long time and, after the third round of the World Championship of the season, publicly stated that Marc had gotten faster and faster in the end. Of course, this made his statements before his comeback extremely questionable. Many of his old and new opponents already seem to have lost a lot of respect for him, and apparently not only related to driving aspects. The following are the most important statements by Jack Miller at the press conference after qualifying, at which the man with the number 93 was briefly mentioned.

Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) after P2 in Q2:It was quite a hectic day and in Q1 I was able to do what I had to do. The guy behind me in Q1 didn’t bother me much, you have to – and I’ve learned that in recent years – to just stay cool and concentrate on your own task. I succeeded, and now I’m in the front row. The most important thing is always for the race and especially here to divide the tire well. My biggest concern is the front tire and that it won’t get grained. The fall at Turn 3 in Q2 wasn’t that nice, but it happened, and my pace is good. I think my speed should be okay for tomorrow. In the race, I’ll try to find that little extra that I always need on Sunday.

Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo) on the Catalan course in Montmeló, a suburb with a lot of industry at the gates of the metropolis of Barcelona. The Australian did his thing on Saturday and is a favorite for the race no matter the conditions (rain is the order of the day).

The second problem case in the family – Marc’s brother Alex

He had already shown weaknesses at the beginning of the season last year, but then recovered and delivered some good races. Three retirements, an eighth and sixth, as well as 14th place is his modest record after 6 races. It looks like a catastrophe for his home race, as Alex will start from the penultimate place on Sunday. In the World Cup, Marc’s younger brother is in 15th place, with an average of just over 3 points. That is of course far too little and of all people, his employer Honda currently needs every single meter to avoid being completely sidelined. Despite four drivers only points separates the world’s largest manufacturer from the red lantern and should Aprilia ace Aleix Espargaró show a strong race, they are threatened with the bottom. The Marquez brothers are partly responsible for this with their repeatedly disappointing achievements. It can hardly be assumed that the sponsors of the Honda teams will be satisfied with this for a long time to come.

Alex Marquez (LCR Honda) is the second problem child in the family – in the second year he should be consistently at least in the top ten, but that is a long way off. For Honda, this is doubly problematic for his brother’s results, which are embarrassing for him, because Nakagami and Pol Espargaró also have more trouble than expected.

Starting grid for the GP of Catalonia in all classes

Circuito de Cataluña

World Championship stand in all classes after the 6th round at Mugello

Catalonia Grand Prix schedule

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).