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Last corner lunges often did run awry, but this one worked perfectly – except for the Ducati that swept back up the inside to beat him to the line. But Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) made a big step forward from last year and threw everything at the Austrian GP – giving us a true modern classic. Locked in a high-speed game of chess turned duel turned incredible final corner, the rider from Cervera was always going to try it. In fact, he says if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have been able to sleep very well on Sunday night:
Marc Marquez, P2: “Today on the last lap I was thinking about everything except the Championship. I pushed 100% and I decided to go all-in – the Championship is important but even second place is. This year we were much closer but today Dovi, especially on the last laps, had a little bit more. A little bit everywhere except two left corners. I was losing everywhere but much faster there, maybe because he was on softer tyres. But I got to the limit and I tried in the last corner because if not, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep well tonight!”
This time, the risk neither paid off nor backfired, leaving Marquez with another trophy and a nice round 20 points to put in the bank – with two key title rivals off the podium, too. His lead is now 16 points.
We were three hundredths apart; the adrenaline, I touched his rear at Turn 2, it was on the limit...
MM93: “It was risky but I’m happy in the end because the 20 points are important. I was thinking about overtaking him in the penultimate corner but he closed the door and I’d had a few warnings there. Today track temperature was warmer and I was struggling with the front, he closed the door perfectly so I tried the last corner but he understood perfectly what was going to happen – and he got the undercut. It was a really exciting race, when we were three hundredths apart, the adrenaline, I touched his rear at Turn 2, it was on the limit – but we survived the race, we’re second, and if you said to me on Thursday I’d be second, I would say it’s a great result. Dovi deserves it because when he was behind me he was comfortable, and when I was behind him I was on the limit. So I’m happy to increase the Championship points and because we got the target – to be on the podium in every race and consistent in all conditions.”
The reigning Champion also had some ominous words following the showdown, with one thing proving even more worthy of mention than the points:
MM93: “What I tried today in the last corner is because I’ve started to feel the limit of the bike again. This sweet feeling with the bike – and that’s the most important for me.”
Now it’s Silverstone time, where Marquez also knows the sweet feeling of pole position and victory…
Marquez: "I needed to try it so I could sleep well!"
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