“Today I made four saves - it’s a record!” Marc Márquez jokes about what is something special for any other rider, whereas for him it is entirely normal: cheating the laws of physics. The MotoGP director had a fun job today, ordering up the ‘heavy rotation’ replays of the Spaniard whose front tyre left long skid marks on the asphalt.
By now, these manoeuvres have become an exact science for Marc: “I know perfectly well that if I go past a 67-degree lean I’ll be in the gravel”, otherwise there is room for some acrobatics. So, the world champion continues to joke: “Win a race with four saves? Why not? At the end of the day, I barely lose a couple of tenths at a time.”
But then he gets serious again because, all joking aside, he knows that he is not in the condition to finish on the top step of the podium.
“These problems mean that I am not sorted. If we were to race today, Dovizioso would win and I’d be able to battle for the podium - he explained - After all, I know which tracks I can attack on and where I need to defend. Sepang belongs to that second group.”
Considering the fact that, when the race is over, the worst result of the year for Márquez was 3rd place, it is clear that he has a very particular concept of “defence”.
“Naturally, I turn up at every GP thinking about winning - he points out - The positive aspect of this year is that I have always managed to battle for the podium, even on those circuits where I struggled.”
He also has an explanation for the difficulties he had today. Difficulties in a manner of speaking, because the Honda riding Spaniard still finished in 3rd place on the first day of practice.
“I was the only one to use the hard tyre on the front - he said - It was hot today, but not like it usually is at Sepang and that compound probably didn’t work well. In fact, as soon as I put on the medium, I felt better straight away and I was able to do a good time.”
But it wasn’t enough.
“Absolutely not - he confirmed - We need to keep working. The goal tomorrow is not so much to improve my speed, but to manage to maintain it in another way.”
The final comment had to do with Rins’ top time.
“It did not surprise me, and the same goes for Rossi and the Yamaha, which seems to have taken another step forward - he explained - For me, the Suzuki is a bike that can battle for the championship. Watching it on the track, it has great agility and speed on turns and good acceleration, whereas top speed is its weak point. I think the nice thing about MotoGP right now is that there are four different bikes at a very similar level to one another.”