Marquez’s last title came in the 2019 season, and in the past few seasons, both the Spaniard and the team have really struggled.
Marquez missed the vast majority of the 2020 season after suffering a serious injury, whilst in the past two seasons, the bike really struggled, finishing 13th in the standings last season.
But after a tough pre-season testing, Marquez wasn’t feeling optimistic in Portugal ahead of the new season.
“In the end, we are a team and we lose together and we win together,” Marquez said on Thursday.
“It’s true that the past few years have been really tough for me, have been really tough for Honda, and we are not coming from the best situation.
“For that reason, we are not title contenders today in Portimao. We need to keep working and building the project and try to be more competitive in the future.
“But my ambition is the same as 2013 [when I made my debut]. I’m here to try to fight for the top position, I will do what I have in my hands to fight for those top positions, and I believe.
“I believe in the project, I believe in Honda. The championship is very long, every day the situation can change, as we saw last year with Pecco [Bagnaia].
“He started not so good, he had many problems in the pre-season, but from one race to the next he started with a good level and he won many races in a row.”
Defending champions Ducati come into 2023 as the clear favourites and Marquez admitted they are still a way behind.
However, he went even further to say that they are a step even further behind defending world champion Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia.
“Of course, it’s obvious that Ducati right now has a really strong package. All Ducati riders, but especially Pecco is the fastest one inside that group and in the grid.
“So, we are far from them, but we are even further from Pecco, who was incredibly fast in the pre-season.
“We are working on the bike to try to be better in some areas that are basically the same as last year. So, still in those points we need to keep investigating how to improve to get closer to the top guys.”
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