Marquez: “It was time to be smart and think”

An important P2 finish at the Catalan GP for Marquez who extends his lead in the World Championship

Two crashes and missing out on an automatic Q2 place wasn’t in the script Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Cataluyna. However, the Spaniard recovered to qualify second on Saturday and backed that up with a P2 finish in the race on Sunday, meaning he takes a 27 point Championship lead away from home soil. 

Marquez got an outstanding launch off the line to get the hole shot down into Turn 1, but the reigning World Champion found it difficult to get temperature in the harder compound front tyre he opted for, making for a difficult first couple of laps. “I was really concentrating on the start because I chose hard tyres and then, on the first lap, it was difficult to get some temperature,” described the number 93, who couldn’t keep eventual race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) behind him for long.

“And then, I was so concentrated on the start, to lead the first lap. I was very slow because I was just trying to find the correct temperature, so I was waiting for Jorge to overtake me. He overtook me on the first brake point at Turn 1 but then my tyres were ready to follow him for five or six laps.”

After a crash last time out in Mugello, Marquez knew it was vital to score well in Barcelona, and admits to “riding a little less” in order to finish Sunday’s 24 lap race. “Today maybe I was thinking a little bit more than in other races and maybe a riding a little bit less. I pushed a few laps of course, but then I tried to find my limits and not surpass them,” explained the number 93.

“I saw many yellow flags and crashes during the race and this was something that took some of my confidence. But, we scored 20 points today, I think this is deserved because Jorge was stronger, Valentino was also very strong but we were able to increase the advantage in the Championship and that is the most important thing.”

Aforementioned, the 25-year-old crashed twice during the weekend and produced another incredible save in FP4. However, there were no such issues in the race for Marquez, who described his race as “quiet”. “Today I didn’t have any moments. Today was quiet, I was smooth. I tried to ride comfortably and not push over the limit,” said the six-time World Champion.

He continued, “as I explained, we were coming from Mugello where we got zero points. We had two crashes during this weekend and one massive save – so it was time to be smart and think. Of course, when you finish in second place, it’s like your missing something but it’s a good result. Twenty points are important and I’m happy because we did an incredible job.”

Next up for Marquez? Assen, a track he hasn’t won at since 2014. Still, the Championship leader heads to the Netherlands hoping he can challenge for the victory, knowing he and the Honda are strong everywhere. “Assen will be very tough. Yamaha will be strong but we are there, we are not far. We have a good rhythm and good level everywhere.”