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Marquez in seventh: "I struggled"

In the Honda corner: the number 93 gears up for the Championship showdown after qualifying on the third row

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is 33 points clear as the grid prepare for the penultimate race of the season, which is a good position to be in by any standards. But it was a muted build-up to the race in which Marquez has the chance to take his sixth world title and fourth MotoGP™ crown, as the Honda rider prepares to fight his corner from seventh on the grid. With six wins so far, an incredible recent podium run and impeccable pace in the wet – always a good ace up your sleeve at Sepang – the rider from Cervera still holds the advantage, but anything can happen – as always in MotoGP™.

As an extra little pound of pressure, the seventh place is his second worst qualifying ever in the premier class as key rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) is starting on the front row. – and the Spaniard admits he struggled, at least in the early sessions on Saturday.

“I struggled a little bit, especially in FP3 and FP4,” explains Marquez, “but then I got the feeling with the bike in the last part of FP4 and in qualifying. I felt good with the bike, but it was just my mistakes as I didn’t do the perfect lap.”

Save of the season? Marquez talks near-crash in FP4

A crash at the start of qualifying on his first run made the job harder, and it came after a near-miss in FP4 that the reigning Champion saved in spectacular style. But the points leader remains pragmatic – with a good rhythm for the race.

“After the first crash it was quite difficult,” affirms the number 93. “I struggled a little bit. It wasn’t the best qualifying, the worst of the season maybe, but we know here is a circuit that we struggle at. But the rhythm is not so bad – I’d be happier if I was on the front row, but I’m not completely disappointed.”

Tomorrow is another day - see if Marquez can take the crown from 15:00 (GMT +8). How can he do it? Click here.

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