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How did Marquez save this?!
Saturday was a very challenging day for the MotoGP™ World Championship as rain came and went at the TT Circuit Assen, the track rarely fully wet nor fully dry. During Free Practice 3, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) managed the second fastest time. It wasn't a straight forward session as he suffered a massive moment heading into Turn 1, calling on all his skill and a bit of luck to save a fall. The near crash was so violent that the airbag in his leathers went off. When the rain came for Free Practice 4 Marquez quickly adapted to the situation and topped the session. It seemed certain that Q2 would be wet, but just how wet remained an unknown.
By the time they hit the track for Q2 the rain had stopped and the circuit was left in a difficult state, some areas closer to being dry than others. Marquez was pushing hard on his first flying lap when he made a mistake and crashed at Turn 8. He didn’t even check his bike, sprinting straight to the service road where he found a scooter not in use, racing back to the pits. He had a moment to catch his breath as his mechanics finalised the wet setting on his second bike, Marquez charging to fourth place with a 1’46.430. All things considered, fourth place is a very solid result.
Marc Marquez: “In free practice this morning we were able to do a good job in dry conditions. We managed to maintain a good pace and try out several things with the bike. We went back to the previous setup and it worked well. Later we had to deal with Assen’s typical ‘surprise factor’—we all know that it can rain at any time here—although FP4 went well for me. I made a mistake in qualifying and crashed on the second lap. The marshals were a bit far away, and I saw a scooter with a key in it and nobody around. When I took it, I saw that it belonged to a photographer, but he let me go. I wanted to get back to the pit as soon as possible, so honestly I would’ve taken it even if he said no! Thanks to the great work done by the team, I was able to get back out on track for two laps and we managed to finish fourth. The important thing is that I feel comfortable in the dry, not superior to the others but at ease enough to fight. In case of rain it will be kind of a lottery, as always.”