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3 days ago
By motogp.com

Marquez: “We’re close – and consistent”

Championship leader misses pole at Honda’s home track – but gets a front row start for his first title push

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) put up a good fight against nemesis Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in QP at the Twin Ring Motegi, but the Spaniard lost out over the final run as he ran wide when following the Italian. Happy with P2 after having expected to struggle more at the Japanese track, Marquez feels his pace is close to what could prove winner’s pace, and consistent, and finds himself more comfortable on the bike on the used tyre – something that could prove key.

Marc Marquez (P2 - 1'44.134): “This morning we made a big improvement and in FP4 we made some changes, but for qualifying we went back. We are there, we are very close and consistent in the lap times, and on the front row – which was the goal. It looks like I struggle a bit on the new tyre but when the tyre drops a little bit I feel stronger. We’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow but it looks like the Yamahas are stronger if it’s warmer – but we’ll see.”

Marquez: "We're close to the Yamaha riders"