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Marquez: “I’d be more nervous if Dovi was on pole”

Everything under control for a sixth title? The reigning Champion starts from pole...

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) starts from pole for the #FinalShowdown in Valencia, with title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) down in ninth and the Italian the one who must win to have a chance at the crown. If ‘DesmoDovi’ does win, Marquez need only come home P11 or better – but never, ever say never.

“We are human and it will be more difficult to sleep,” admits Marquez ahead of lights out. “But it’s normal, I would be more nervous if Dovi was on pole and I was tenth, ninth or eighth…”

Highlights: Marquez on pole for #FinalShowdown in Valencia

Nerves aside, however, the plan is simple – and remains the same as every weekend this year: keeping it ‘Marquez’ style until the points are dealt out.

“I’m really happy to be on pole during this special weekend,” says the reigning Champion. “It’s my 73rd pole position which is my brother’s number! I’m happy with the rhythm and the feeling of the bike…I had a small slide trying to improve the laptime but it was already a good lap. It’s Marquez style until Warm Up, then maybe we need to change the strategy and adapt to the conditions tomorrow. But I’m feeling good with the bike, which is the most important. Two crashes this weekend was when I was pushing more than I feel. The first few laps will be more difficult because when you’re fighting for the Championship you’re stiff on the bike until you get used to it. But we need to keep the same mentality. That will be the key.”

Marquez: "Vielleicht hab ich zu viel gepusht"

It could prove so – but there’s some interesting company on the front row, and riders known for their willingness to fight it out to the limit. “When you see front row Marquez-Zarco-Iannone, you say ‘Dangerous! Something will happen at the first corner',” says the reigning Champion. “But I know Zarco is fast and will push, Iannone is a fighter…and to finish the race is the most important for me.”

That’s true assuming a finish in eleventh or higher – but despite the number 93 holding the cards, Marquez is more than aware that anything can happen. The lights go out at 14:00 (GMT +1).

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