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Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had his first shot at the title at Sepang, but under the rain, the Spaniard ended the race just off the podium. Combined with the win for Championship rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), the title fight now rolls on to the final round for a #FinalShowdown. If Dovizioso wins it now, Marquez need only finish 11th. And that’s not the only advantage the Spaniard has, with Valencia an anti-clockwise track - something that often leads to success for the number 93.
“I feel good because I like Valencia,” says the reigning Champion ahead of the season finale. “It’s an anticlockwise circuit, which normally suits me…”
Marquez even touched on that question in the Press Conference at Silverstone, and it bears even more weight as the Spaniard has taken 20 out of 29 wins on anti-clockwise tracks since he moved up to the premier class. This season he’s won on them all.
Austin – Dominated by teammate Dani Pedrosa in the early stages, polesitter Marquez then took over at the front of the race on Lap 9 and didn’t look back. The rider from Cervera took his fifth win at the track in five years, and it was a valuable one – with Marquez moving from eighth in the standings to third.
Highlights: Marquez takes record-breaking fifth win in Texas
Sachsenring – Marquez dueled Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) for the win in Germany, pushed all the way until the very latter stages. But in crossing the line to take victory, it made it eight in a row at the venue for Marquez, all the way from the 125 World Championship to consecutive MotoGP™ wins. The 25 points accrued took him to the top of the Championship.
Highlights: Marquez takes eight successive Sachsenring win
Aragon – Equal on points with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on arrival, Marquez was forced to push his way through the pack – and was able to take over from Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) in the lead with nine laps to go. He was pushed thereafter by teammate Dani Pedrosa, but Marquez was able to hold on for the win – and increased his advantage to 16 points at the top of the table.
Highlights: Marquez extends title lead after superb win
Phillip Island – Marquez took on Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone in an incredible battle Down Under this season – with some of the closest racing of all time. Seeing a window of opportunity to break away from the melee, Marquez then pushed to make a gap and crossed the line for another 25 points – increasing his advantage to 33 as Dovizioso suffered a difficult race.
Highlights: Marquez victorious in sensational #AustralianGP
Now we arrive at Valencia, another anti-clockwise circuit and the scene for the #FinalShowdown. So is Marquez feeling the pressure? He says not and despite what’s at stake, the plan is simple – keep doing what they’ve been doing all year, and see how the dice roll.
“Of course it will be natural to feel some pressure in Valencia with so much at stake,” explains the reigning Champion. “But honestly there has been pressure for the entire second part of the season. And the fact that we’ve been able to manage some tricky situations, as was the case at the last race in Malaysia, gives me a positive feeling. Of course it’s also good to have a points advantage to manage. That said, we won’t think too much about any of those things. We definitely don’t think it will be easy, so we won’t go to Valencia with any extra confidence. We’ll keep the same mentality and working method that have brought us to where we are, and we’ll give 100 per cent because it will be important to be fast beginning with FP1.”
That begins on Friday at 9:55am (GMT +1), as the #FinalShowdown gets in gear.
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