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“Today was the most difficult I could’ve had,” is how Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) assesses the Malaysian GP. “We had the most difficult conditions because it was so slippery and wet, and when you’re fighting for the Championship…normally I am good in these conditions but it was difficult. It was important to finish the race.”
Taking fourth after getting an incredible holeshot from the third row, Marquez was initially on track with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) but he read the risks quickly and knew finishing was paramount - with a mistake potentially being able to cut the difference between Marquez and challenger Dovizioso down to eight points at Valencia. “I pushed to try and get a good feeling, but then I realised both Ducatis were very fast and it was a risk to try and overtake Zarco, so I said ‘OK. It’s the same to arrive in Valencia 24 points ahead or 21’. So I finished the race, which was the main target.”
Marquez: "Lorenzo understood what he needed to do"
Target acquired, but the same was true of winner Dovizioso. And talk around the race also centered around the question of Ducati and whether they used team orders after Lorenzo suffered a moment at T15 – but Marquez quickly shrugs off any controversy. “I don’t know, but honestly speaking…when you are a rider in a team, you are a professional. You know and understand what you must do in every situation. I don’t know if it was team orders directly or not, but Lorenzo understood what he needed to do.”
So that’s a wrap on Sepang, and now it’s back onto home turf for the Spaniard at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. 21 points ahead, Marquez holds the advantage – but he knows it’s not a done deal until he crosses the line.
“Now we are going to the last round and we will try to be competitive from FP1 so we can push again at the limit,” promises the Repsol Honda rider. “Of course, it will be a long wait until Valencia but we will try to relax and train well. Already there are nerves in my stomach, but it’s normal and we’ll try to be competitive. In 2013 I had a similar situation which was more difficult, so I think I can manage it…but you never know and you need to have the same mentality to push from the beginning.”
The beginning of the end of the season is Friday 10th November, when practice starts for the final showdown.
1 year ago