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At Thursday’s press conference on the eve of the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix the 2014 MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez was joined by Valentino Rossi, Bradley Smith, Cal Crutchlow, Tito Rabat and Alex Marquez to address the media.
This weekend gives Marquez (Repsol Honda) another chance to register a 12th victory of the season, which would equal Mick Doohan’s record from 1997 for most premier class wins in a single season.
The visit to Sepang also provides Marquez with an opportunity to put Sunday’s Phillip Island race out of his mind after he crashed out when leading in Australia.
Marquez commented: “It is time to try and be on the top again as I have not won since Silverstone. We will try to be ready to fight for victory on Sunday if it is dry, if it is wet we will see. It will be difficult because everyone has a lot of testing experience from this track.”
He continued, “I was trying to ride a different kind of race in Australia, to be strong from the beginning and make a gap. I thought riding without pressure it was time to ride a special way but it just didn’t work on Sunday. Anyway I expect Vale, Jorge and Dani to be strong here in Malaysia.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Rossi arrives in Malaysia on a high from his Phillip Island victory and he enthused, “It has been a good season for me from the beginning, but in the last four races Yamaha has won and it looks like we are closer to the Hondas so we can fight harder.”
“I like Sepang it is one of my favourite tracks. It is the most difficult race for the riders because of the heat. You are on the limit physically and you have to be fit and to keep your concentration.”
Meanwhile, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Smith is also in good spirits having registered his first ever premier class podium result last weekend. He stated, “It has been a great week for me, I have finally achieved one of the dreams and goals that I had in MotoGP. But now we need to look ahead and focus on this weekend in Sepang.”
“This is a track I like and I had a half decent result here last year. I am close to the top six in the standings so I will keep pushing for that, it is a realistic objective.”
Crutchlow is looking for good results in his final two races with Ducati Team and he is understandably keen to get back on track having crashed out late in the race at the Australian Grand Prix. He said, “I believe we have really turned the season around but in the last two races we have not finished. You have to finish the race. This is racing, this is life. We had a not so bad test here at Sepang at the beginning of the year and hopefully we will start the weekend strong.”
With another shot at clinching the Moto2™ title this weekend in Malaysia, Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) is determined and focused ahead of round 17. He commented, “It is the second chance, but I will focus on the race. We need to make a good practice and then in the true moment in the race we need to do it like we have in the practices. Last year here was unbelievable and I made a really good job. I know the track, we have the setting from last year, so let’s see!”
Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) could also become a World Champion this weekend, though after Jack Miller’s Australian triumph the Moto3™ title fight has intensified, with the Spaniard leading by 20 points approaching the final two races.
The younger Marquez brother commented, “We need to work a lot in free practice and QP to have good race pace. I have to stay focused with the team like all races. My objective is to win the race on Sunday. Maybe we will have another big battle like in Australia, we enjoy it a lot. In Moto3 it is always like this, with a small difference you can win the race or finish fifth. I want to enjoy my last two races in the category and be competitive.”
Friday’s serious action at the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix commences at 9am local time with FP1 for the Moto3™ class.
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