Marc Marquez knows he will have to fight Jorge Lorenzo for the title at Valencia, after he finished second to the World Champion at Motegi, with Dani Pedrosa in third place.
The Repsol Honda pair had both hoped for victory at HRC’s home track, with Marquez knowing that he could have clinched the title by outscoring eventual race winner Lorenzo by eight points.
Pedrosa’s third place means his slim title hopes are now officially over, whilst Marquez took 20 important points as he bounced back from his Phillip Island debacle to ensure he is still in the driving seat with one race left.
Reflecting on a tough AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan weekend, Marquez stated, “At the beginning of the race I was struggling a little bit and it was actually quite a difficult race for me, because already in the morning practice I had a big crash. On the braking points, I was struggling quite a lot.”
He continued, “In the race I tried to follow Jorge and we did a very good job because we were right there. In the middle of the race it even looked like we could be stronger, but in the end I saw that Jorge was pushing a bit more, I felt I was too much on the limit and I said ‘Ok, I’ll take 20 points for the championship”. In Valencia it’s another race and it will be very interesting for sure!”
Acknowledging the first career win of his younger brother Alex earlier in the day at Motegi, Marquez added, “He got his first victory so I’m happy for him as he has worked so hard. He’s been close on several occasions so I’m happy he has done it. The little brother is coming after us so we need to keep it full gas!”
Pedrosa added his summary of the day’s proceedings, by saying, “Today was not the best race for me. I tried to do my best all through the race but I struggled a lot to keep up with these two on the exit of the corners and finally couldn’t perform as I expected. Anyway, we have to keep up and try to improve.”
“Now I’m out of the championship but when we go to Valencia it is a race so I’ll be doing my best,” Pedrosa concluded. “Now it’s up to these guys (Lorenzo and Marquez) to have the battle!”