12 months ago
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Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took the victory after one of the most incredible races of all time at Phillip Island, edging away in the last few laps after an almighty eight-way battle for the lead earlier in the race. The rider from Cervera says the initial plan was something a little different - but that circumstances called for a change:
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Marquez: "This race was similar to 2015"
"I tried to go out and warm the tyres and stay calm," says Marquez, "but then after only a few laps there was the first contact and I thought ok...this will be tough! It was a big group, like Moto3. I realised halfway through I had to attack, or they would overtake me. I have some marks on my leathers and my bike, but I was aggressive too! A crash or a zero would have been a disaster but it was time to attack and I knew it was an important race to increase the distance in the Championship."
Attack he did, as an incredibly aggressive fight ripped through the front - battling for the lead as well as trying to keep one eye on Championship rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).
“We had a meeting before the race and they asked me if I wanted to know where Dovi was,” explains Marquez, “And I said no. Then in the middle of the race I had a question mark but then I saw when I was in Turn 4 he was at Turn 3, so I controlled it. I was trying to control where Dovi was and calculate everything, then with eight or so laps to go I said ok, and was able to be a few tenths quicker and open a small gap."
Able to pull away as the three men on the chase - Valentino Rossi, the Italian’s teammate Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) - began to battle, it was enough to write Marquez’ name in the history books as the victor in one of the all-time greats. It was also enough to give the rider from Cervera a lead of 33 points in the standings.
“Victory was important,” affirms the number 93. “It was like the 2015 race with lots of overtakes, and the points advantage makes me very happy. There’s time to breathe and understand our options now. Now it’s time to take points."
The next chance for Marquez to do that arrives soon, with the final race of the flyaways just around the corner at Sepang International Circuit.
12 months ago