A year later, nothing has changed. Marc Marquez has to settle for second place in the opening race of the season, preceded by a few thousandths by Dovizioso. The Spaniard shows off his classic smile in the post race and carefully analyzes the race.
"Today Dovi was stronger than we were. I got on the track with a medium tire in front ," he explains, "instead of a hard one because the hard one doesn't work well. But, in the end, neither did the medium. In order to not wear out the front, I also pushed the rear, deteriorating that one, too. My goal was the podium, and I got second. It was a replay of last year, but I tried, so I can sleep peacefully and happy."
Marc continues telling us about the race and how there was no other viable strategy in the duel against the Ducati number 04.
"The first ten laps, we all went slowly, and, for my situation, it was ideal considering my front tire. But that's okay, since there'll be tracks where we'll be stronger. If were to correct, again, I wouldn’t try to pass first because Dovi would have passed me, again. I try, otherwise I wouldn't sleep well, but he was stronger today. I tried at the tenth, going long, and he passed me, then at the last corner, but it didn't happen."
Speaking of the first study runs, the Spaniard tells us his opinion on the "conservative" drift that the races of the top class followed.
"I like competitions like this because they're like a close combat, and you have to think a lot about yourself and the bike. These are my strengths. Also, races of this kind can help me on tracks where I struggle, like this one."
Getting back to the race, n.93 explains why we didn't get to see his proverbial imposing hard braking much today.
"I'm usually strong in braking, but I couldn't today. We mounted a medium front tire," he said, "and, consequently, had a set-up that was in line with that choice, not being able to push on the front like I wanted. Last year, I raced with a hard tire here, and I was stronger on the front. It was impossible this year. Now I have a better engine. Now we have to work on the electronics to manage it."
In conclusion, Marc talks about the future and about the particular situations that can occur during a race weekend.
"Qatar is a particular track. At Le Mans or at Mugello we'll know who will be in the game for the title and who won't. We hope to be there. It's strange, though, how some riders have been very fast in the tests while they struggled in the race. Valentino, for example, didn't seem to have the pace and arrived six tenths from the victory."