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12 days ago
By motogp.com

Playing it safe: Marquez doesn’t gamble

The Repsol Honda rider starts sixth after opting to switch back to wet tyres in qualifying

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was one of the first riders to take a chance on the slick tyre in Q2 – the same tyre Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) used to sensationally take pole. However, the reigning World Champion decided to pull straight back into the box to switch back to the wet tyre – eventually coming home sixth.  

Initially taking the right chance has been something Marquez and his crew have mastered, ever since their hiccup at the Australian Grand Prix in 2013. Last season, it was at Brno where he eclipsed the field by over 12 seconds after pitting early, and, in 2016 at the Sachsenring, the number 93 and his Repsol Honda crew out-smarted their rivals by doing the same thing – pitting at exactly the right time. 

In Argentina, however, that chance was too big to take for the reigning Champion.

"It was a tricky qualifying because the track was on the limit to be on the slick tyres," he started. "At one point, I took the risk, but then when I went out I said ‘ok, this is too risky' for a qualifying practice. We need to understand that we are fighting for a championship and we need to minimise the risk, then I came back to the box and we went out on the other bike with the wet tyres." 

Despite being on the outside of the second row, Marquez remained positive about his feelings towards Sunday's race. 

"I’m happy because the rhythm is there. Honestly speaking, I expect more from the qualifying, but anyway, we start from 6th place and we are on the second row. so I'm happy." 

After 27 crashes last season, limiting the risk is something he and the team want to improve on. 

See if Marquez can get his first win of the season, when the MotoGP™ riders go into battle at 15:00 (GMT -3). 

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