Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 21 Mar 2015
Marc Marquez has said he knows who his rivals are ahead of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship getting underway at Qatar next week, but also acknowledges Ducati could run closer to the front this season.
Ducati’s duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone have been fast throughout testing, with Dovizioso rounding out the final test at Losail on top of the timesheets with the new Desmosedici GP15.
The Bologna factory’s improved pace has given rise to several questions surrounding the fairness of concessions granted to the team such as use of the extra-soft tyre.
Having not won a dry race in over two years, Ducati were granted permission to use the ‘open-class’ tyre and engine rules last season – something that will continue this year until Ducati achieve three dry podiums or a single race victory.
However, it’s thought neither Dovizioso nor Iannone used the super-soft to set their fastest times suggesting the Italian manufacturer wouldn’t be too handicapped by the loss of such an advantage.
“I believe they’re not using the extra-soft tyre to avoid creating a scare, because their lap-times would quickly drop by one second”, Marquez joked about Ducati’s strategy.
“At the end of the day, it's clear that our rivals are the Yamaha riders and Dani (Pedrosa) - they are our rivals for the championship. At some specific point, the Ducati will be there at the front but they have this 'handicap' of losing some of their advantages if they get good results, so yeah, I know who my rivals are and who I have to keep a close eye on.”