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Marquez: “Rossi was on another level, like I was in Austin”

Marquez: “Rossi was on another level, like I was in Austin”

Front tyre issues end Marc Marquez’s chances of victory in Jerez, the Spaniard producing a mature ride for third.

Marc Marquez, just like Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), opted to run the hard front and medium rear Michelin tyres. Even with the same tyres, Marquez wasn’t able to match the opening pace of the Movistar Yamaha pair and found himself stuck behind Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) on the first lap. At the end of the first lap, Marquez would get past his teammate and set about looking to close in on Lorenzo. Sticking to the rear of the Majorcan, Marquez was dragged away from the rest of the field but was never able to attack and soon found himself managing his tyres. Conditions were 11ºC hotter than on Saturday and Marquez suffered, fighting to stay upright and ending over four seconds behind Lorenzo. Even with the problems, Marquez still brought home third for Honda and took to the podium with a Japanese flag in support on the Kumamoto earthquake victims.

Once the race was over, Marquez made it clear that his tyre issues limited and chose to ride smart rather than pushing for glory. In past years there’s no doubt that Marquez would have thrown caution to the wind and put it all on the line, but after a difficult 2015 he is older and wiser. Settling for third allowed Marquez to claim 16 valuable championship points and retain his lead in the championship. Marquez leaves the Spanish GP with a 17 point lead point over Lorenzo in second, his advantage only shrinking by four points despite the difficult race. Third place also continued Marquez’s perfect premier class podium record in Jerez, one of five circuits on the current calendar where he has finished on the podium in each of his visits. The World Championship now have a weekend off before heading to France for round five in Le Mans.

Marc Marquez: “Honestly, today Valentino [Rossi] was on another level, like I was in Austin, and the most important thing is that today we accepted finishing third in the race. I learned a lot from last year and and I didn’t want to make a mistake. I was very focused from the start and I tried to ride strongly and stay with Jorge [Lorenzo], but I could tell that with the higher track temperatures - 11º C higher than yesterday - it was very difficult for me to manage the front tyre well. I almost crashed several times, so in the end I made a difficult decision in front of our fans, as we preferred to secure 16 points that will be very positive at the end of the season, which is very long. We must have patience until we take a step further with the bike’s acceleration and find something else that allows us to fight for the win.”

MotoGP, 2016, GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE ESPAÑA, RAC, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

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