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7 days ago
By motogp.com

Rookie on the rise: Alex Marquez bags best MotoGP™ result

The reigning Moto2™ World Champion claimed P7 at the Emilia Romagna GP, beating Championship leader Dovizioso in the process

In the absence of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and test rider Stefan Bradl, the HRC expectations fell onto the shoulders of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and MotoGP™ rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini.

Reigning Moto2™ World Champion Alex Marquez has been slowly getting to grips with the tricky 2020-spec RC213V throughout the year. It goes without saying that it's not an easy task, but Marquez has been quietly going about his business to collect some commendable points in a 2020 season that is probably the most competitive we’ve ever seen. Before the Emilia Romagna GP, the younger Marquez brother scored a best of P8 at the Andalucia GP, in his second premier class race in extremely demanding conditions. That was then beaten at Misano, with Alex Marquez finishing P7 from 17th on the grid.

The positions gained we saw on Sunday is where Alex Marquez’ strength lies in his rookie MotoGP™ campaign – race pace. Beating Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on a track the Italian has won at, as well as finishing less than a second behind in-form Nakagami, is an awesome accolade for the number 73 to take away and gain confidence from. The next step now, of course, is qualifying well.

Speaking after achieving his best-ever MotoGP™ result, the double World Champion explained how Tuesday’s test at Misano was vital. He and the team had made small steps during the San Marino GP, but having a full day to ride the Honda and try new things in a non-pressure environment – something you don’t get during a Grand Prix weekend – was key. And then, further steps forward on Friday and Saturday at the Emilia Romagna GP ultimately led Alex Marquez – who topped morning Warm Up – to have a fantastic ride on Sunday afternoon.

“After the test and last Sunday also we did some improvement, but especially after the test, it was the first test after all the breakdown for me and you know, the advantage that especially KTM and Aprilia have is they have a lot of tests,” began the 2019 Moto2™ World Champion.

“So yeah, it was the first day we had the test to work alone and without pressure and try to be consistent. We had some new things to try that helped also. It was a really good test, then in the weekend we did some really good small steps, we are still missing in quali but in the race I started good, the first lap I was really good, aggressive, trying to recover a lot of positions.

 

“So yeah, in that point, my tyre choice was the right – the medium in the rear. On the first laps it felt quite good. Then I tried to keep Dovi behind because he was always there and keeping the pressure, I did it ok. At the end I had a shake and then Nakagami overtook me but apart from this, ok, P7 is not a realistic position because there were many crashes. Today the realistic position was a top 10 so, I’m happy with the steps. We need to keep working and looking forward to Montmelo.”

The Catalan GP is Alex Marquez’ home race. He won their last year in the intermediate class and knowing he has – at least – top 10 credentials, is another best MotoGP™ result incoming for Marquez in Barcelona?

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