The Mooney VR46 Ducati rider has enjoyed his best start to a MotoGP season which is reflected in his results as he’s currently sixth in the championship after eight rounds.

Although Marini is yet to claim the same accolades as teammate Marco Bezzecchi, which are pole position and winning a race, the Italian has been a consistent presence towards the front of the field.

Helped by Ducati being the manufacturer with the best package, Marini still needs to make a small step in order to fight against the likes of Bezzecchi, Jorge Martin and world champion Francesco Bagnaia, all of whom have won a race since Sachsenring - that includes sprint races. 

Speaking on the VR46 Racing Team YouTube channel, Marini said this about his start to 2023: "I’m very proud of our growth as a team. Also about myself, sure! But the team made a big step forward compared to last year and we are stronger, we are working really well. 

"I’m proud of myself and as a rider I’ve improved a lot. My riding style but also managing races, managing the weekend."

Regarding the championship fight, Marini is not a contender due to being 96 points down on Bagnaia.

Marini is currently the fifth Ducati as Martin, Bezzecchi and Johann Zarco are all ahead of him, as is KTM rider Brad Binder, while Bagnaia holds an advantage of 35 points over his closest rival, which is why Marini is picking the factory rider as the favourite. 

"I think this championship is nice to see because every GP there are many riders fighting for the victory and the podium," added Marini. 

"Now, Ducati is another step forward compared to the other manufacturers and we need to keep working like this and keep this gap until the end of the season, and try to fight with all the other Ducati riders for a better position in the championship. 

"Pecco is in great shape and in a better position. He is the favourite for the championship but everyone wants to steal the title [from him]. I want to fight for victories with him in the next races."