Márquez strikes again. For the eleventh time this season, the Spanish phenomenon finished on the top step of the podium and, with this win on Phillip Island, he has preserved the possibility of matching his 13 victories in one season of 2014 (when, however, there was one less race on the calendar). With the championship already sewn up in Buriram, what pushes Márquez to continue taking risks this season?
“I said immediately after winning the title that the goal would be to finish on the podium for the last races. I wouldn’t have expected to win two in a row, and we’ll see what happens in Sepang and Valencia.”
Just as he demonstrated in Buriram against Quartararo, in Australia Márquez stayed behind his rival, in this case Viñales, for the entire race, launching his attack only in the finale after studying all his adversary’s weak points.
“Today there was a big difference between Viñales and me - Márquez said - Both in qualifying and in warm up, I realized that he had something more than I did. However, I knew that, if I could survive the early laps behind him, I would be able to follow him all the way to the end. It went well, because that is exactly what happened. We battled down to the end. On the last lap, I managed to overtake him at the only point where it would have been possible - on the straight. On all the rest of the track, he was able to get away, so I only had that one part of the circuit to have a go.”
Was the soft rear tire a winning choice?
“In the race finale, the tires slid around a lot - Marc said - and this is one of the tracks that wears the rear the most. The decision to put on the soft was made in relation to the strategy: stay behind and survive until the attack in the finale.”
With the rider and manufacturer championships already in the bag way ahead of time, Márquez and Honda are only missing the title introduced by Dorna to award the teams. Team HRC is currently 1 point behind Ducati and many are wondering if Márquez will be able to take home the “Triple Crown”, practically racing along, given the situation of his teammate Lorenzo.
“I am working in my garage, but winning the team championship is not an undertaking to accomplish alone. Jorge Lorenzo is going through a difficult time and he is the first one who wants to improve, for himself and for the team. Riding a MotoGP bike is fun, but in his conditions, it makes you suffer. The Honda is a complete bike and capable of winning.”
Audio collected by Paolo Scalera