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Marquez: ‘Battle with Valentino was best part of race’

Marquez: ‘Battle with Valentino was best part of race’

MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez started the defence of his title by delivering Honda’s 250th premier class victory, with his teammate Dani Pedrosa also on the podium in third.

It was a dramatic race at Losail with pole man Marquez – the only rider to use the hard rear option tyre – slipping back to fourth by the first turn. However, he made up a position before Jorge Lorenzo made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed out, with Marquez then firmly amongst the podium chasers.

LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl had the race lead but then he too crashed out, with some close racing to follow as Marquez finally made a move on Valentino Rossi on lap fourteen and led the race for the first time. That battle would continue until the last lap with the young champion outfoxing Rossi with what Marquez would later describe as a perfect last lap.

“I'm very happy with the result today,” Marquez said afterwards. “The 25 points are important but it’s also been an important race, because I was coming back from an injury that caused me to miss most of the pre-season. Also, this weekend there were a lot of riders up at the front, all with a great pace, and seeing how the race went, this win is a big one.”

“The battle with Valentino was the best part of the race besides the win, I really enjoyed it!”

Pedrosa added, “Third place is a positive result. We've finished on the podium this weekend at a circuit that’s difficult for me, because it isn't well suited to my style. So it's a good way to start. We were close, but with the way the race went - with so many crashes - it was important to finish. So from here on in we will try to keep improving and try to fight for the win at the next race.”

The result marks Honda’s 250th in MotoGP, making them the first manufacturer to reach the milestone of 250 wins in the premier class of Grand Prix racing.

MotoGP, 2014, COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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