What would be a good result for another rider, is a black mark on Marc Marquez's curriculum. Sixth on the grid is not exactly a disaster, but it is one of the Spaniard's worst qualifying results of the year.
The result also had to do with the crash in FP4.
“I wasn't looking for the limit this time, it's too fast at that point - jokes Marc - The real problem is that I had the two bikes set up differently and I fell with the set-up I preferred. Unfortunately there wasn't time to repair the bike, or modify the other”.
Hence, a qualifying that falls below his usual standard. But it's not a setback that is affecting Marquez's mood.
“I've never scored pole at this track. The important thing is that we know we have good pace, I was quickest in FP4 in fact. Dovizioso does too of course, but I'm closer to him than I expected to be."
Translation: don't expect Marquez to hold back tomorrow.
“I'll start from the second row, we'll see where I am after one lap and then I'll know what to do. Right now, I don't know if I can fight for the win, but if I have the chance, I won't hold back. My first aim tomorrow is to reach the podium”.
But eating gives you an appetite, and the Spaniard's hunger has never been up for discussion.
“As I've said, I don't feel that I'm under any real pressure for the title as it's not my last chance. I'd definitely more doable than it was in 2016, but it's still difficult”.
In terms of the title, Marc simply needs to finish ahead of Andrea.
“And Dovi is fast. He always hides something in practice but in the crucial moments he's been then. It doesn't surprise me, but Andrea is not the only fast rider, Crutchlow has strong pace too. There are several riders with similar pace”.
Marquez has readied his weapons.
“Yesterday I was not happy with the stability in braking and we've sorted that. We've lost a little in other areas, but I think it will help me in terms of race pace”.