Marc Marquez did not make a false move on the day when everything went wrong for Dovizioso. The result is that the Spaniard widened the gap in the standings so much that he can now play his first championship match point as early as next week in Sepang. “I am more pleased to hear that now I have a 33 point advantage over Dovi than I am about the win”, the Spaniard admits.
Marc used the same tactic he always does. He did not shy away when there were risks to be taken and he took home all the spoils.
“At the start of the race I wanted to stay calm, warm up the tyres and stay in control, partly because I had chosen the soft on the rear on the grid. The team had recommended the medium, but in the sighting lap I didn’t have good feelings and I wanted to compete with the same weapons my rivals were using. However, already on the second lap I had contact with Zarco - he recounts - That is when I realised that I needed to attack or I would lose a lot of positions, but I also knew that all it would take was a mistake to lose a lot of points.”
His strategy was already clear before the start.
“The same as 2015: control from the start and attack at the end - he reveals - That is why I asked my team not to put Andrea’s position on my board. Sometimes too much information just complicates things. In fact, at the mid-race point I looked over my shoulder a couple of times to see where Dovizioso was and when I saw him way behind I realised that it was time to attack.”
And saying goodbye to the group in such a way so that he was all by himself under the chequered flag.
“Not having Dovi in the group made things simpler. I was able to give 100% only on the last 5 laps and it worked - he continues - But I risked anyway. I have tyre marks on my leathers and on the bike. Everyone was aggressive and so was I. Even though at times it was dangerous, I had to mark my territory.”
Like when you touched Valentino.
“I was fast on the second turn. I had managed to overtake a lot of riders and I thought I was ahead of Rossi but then I found him in front of me. I thought I was going to crash. In any case, I think that races are like that. Today the battling was normal. If we lower the limits, we’ll become like Formula 1, where everything is sanctioned” he voices his opinion.
Everything went well and Marquez is not too surprised at the difficulties Dovizioso encountered.
“I was more surprised when I saw how fast he was on Friday - he confesses - I knew that this was a track where we struggle historically and staying ahead of him in practice both on a dry and on a wet track made me more confident for the race.”
On paper, the situation could be reversed in Sepang.
“This evening I’ll celebrate the win and from tomorrow I’ll start thinking about Malaysia - he says - Today it was important to finish ahead of Dovizioso because usually on that track we have trouble whereas Yamaha and Ducati are fast. It is also true that our bike has changed a lot compared to last winter.”
At this point, Marc can also think about changing strategy.
“The time has come to stay calm. I don’t like the fact that I crashed 24 times this year - he explains - I need to race with the same intensity but limiting the mistakes, a bit like I did in 2016. I will need to have self-control. If I am able to win the title in Sepang, fine; otherwise, there is always Valencia.”