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Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was tempted to play it safe at Misano and value the 20 points for P2, but then another thought crossed his mind - the value of the five extra points on offer should the title go down to the wire. The highest-placed title contender at the time, Marquez still stood to gain from a safe second - but instead played all his cards for a stunning first.
Not wanting to get into a battle with Petrucci and take too many risks, Marquez decided he would push for the win - but over only one lap. No last corner lunge and no early fireworks, this was going to be one move and then a final sprint for the line. Taking the lead at Turn 1 on the final lap, that's exactly what the rider from Cervera did - unleashing the fastest lap of the race on the final lap of the race, and over a second clear over the line.
With all three top title challengers lining up on the front row, it was a high stakes game of glory or gravel on the Rimini Riviera - but just sometimes, who dares wins. And Marquez certainly won, going back into the Championship lead but on equal points with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). With both on four wins, the number 93 is ahead only by way of having more second place finishes. How close do you like it?
Now it's back from enemy territory and onto home turf at MotorLand Aragon, where Marquez' speed is unmatched - with six pole positions in the last seven years...
Marc Marquez, P1: “The race was amazing. You can’t imagine the tension and focus, so difficult to keep concentration because the race was so long. During the race the feeling was changing, at the start I was struggling more, then I was ok but towards the end is when I felt better. Then I started thinking about the Championship and thought second was enough, but then I thought ‘ok, I have the potential to win and I’ll try because you never know if at the end in Valencia you’ll miss those five points’.
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Marquez: "I was thinking about the Championship all race"
“During the race I was trying to follow Danilo and other riders because after the Warm up crash…I think that was a good crash, if I hadn’t crashed then I would have crashed in the race. That gave me a warning. I was just trying to follow Danilo, and then the pass I prepared well. I didn’t want to fight with him here at Misano, I wanted to overtake him and then push for one lap – I didn’t want to risk it for more than one lap, or on the final corner.
“Before the race was so difficult after watching Moto2 and Moto3, because there were so many crashes for the top guys and you know you have to finish the race. I knew if I crashed and Dovi finished second or third, the Championship would be difficult. But you need to understand and manage that kind of pressure, which I tried to do and that was the best way. Now it’s incredible. The Championship is incredible and you never know what will happen. After the race at Silverstone I was disappointed but it was important to come back strong and for that reason I took the risk, because normally at Misano I struggle a lot. Now we got to Aragon and I’ll try to make it. Dovizioso is strong at every circuit and Ducati is strong at every circuit, and it will be tight. And Viñales is not very far off.”
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