Marc Marquez didn't win at Assen, but in second place, he still ended a troublesome weekend that started as early as Friday during tests. Having said that, however, the world champion does not despair and consoles himself knowing that he has extended his lead in the standings on the direct pursuers: the Ducati riders. The Spanish rider flew to +44 on Dovizioso and has probably already put a hand down on the championship.
If it was difficult to beat him before, now that he's using his head to race, it's even more difficult.
"My goal was the podium," Marquez said at the end of the race, "but I saw that Quartararo was suffering, so I attached myself to Vinales not to win, since I knew that the tire would not last until the end, but to "get away from Fabio."
It was a fast race. You surprised everyone on the grid by mounting the soft tire. Satisfied with your choice?
"I don't think I had a chance to win. I had no weapon in my favor because Maverick had a better pace than I did," said Marc. My strategy was excellent because I wouldn't have been able to stay ahead in the first part of the race with the hard tires.”
What was your most important moment?
"When Rins was in front. I wanted to be with the group because I knew it would have cost me to close the gap if I let go," said Marquez. "When I saw Rins and Quartararo fall, I took the lead. I knew I had to sprint, even if having the soft ones would have cost me in the end. The strategy, however, was perfect. I got what I wanted."
Yamaha wins again in a weekend that was difficult for you with the first second row of the year in qualifying. Could Vinales be a rival for the world championship?
"I lost 5 points to him today, but my goal was to get ahead of Dovizioso, Petrucci, and Rins. The Yamaha is improving visibly. This was the weekend where they did best. It's the most complete bike at the moment from what was seen in the last circuits. We'll see how they'll do on tracks with little grip, but they were really fast in the last few races, both at Mugello and in Barcelona. I think Vinales is still far behind for the world championship, but you never know. He'll be a rival to take into account for the second part of the championship."
Your point advantage on the first pursuer is 44, and we're not even halfway through the championship. How confident do you feel about your leadership in the world championship?
"The 44 points are a nice margin," continued Marquez . "But anything can happen in these races, as we saw today in Moto2 where my brother lost the world championship lead. He must try to be as constant as possible because the unthinkable can actually happen."
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera