In the second race completed after his return, Marc Marquez continues to be the first Honda to take the chequered flag, even if in the wet his brother Alex helped him to hold high the name of the Tokyo manufacturer. At one point Marc seemed to be in a position to fight for the podium but he had to give way to Zarco and settle for a good 5th position.
The man from Cervera is satisfied with his physical recovery and despite admitting that he came to the end of the third day of the weekend physically exhausted, his spirit seems completely relieved after the dark period he’s been through. A smile is permanently stamped on his face and also from his words transpires the positivity of those who have found themselves again.
We expected you to catch up with Pecco but in the end when Zarco overtook you it seems like you didn't have anything more to give.
“I had a solid race, I started calmly, step by step, letting the tyres warm up. It was time for this type of race. Then I picked up the pace and managed to be faster, but overtaking the Ducatis is a problem, they have a lot of engine, they accelerate a lot and brake hard. When I caught Pecco, I didn't find the point to overtake him, I wasn't fast enough to do it. When Zarco arrived, he caught me in a couple of corners. Besides that, I'm very happy with my weekend ”.
Did you have a drop in the tyres at the end or was there something else?
"Today the rain saved my life. I woke up in a bad way, with my arm blocked. Already in the warm-up I wasn’t feeling well. I went to the Clinica Mobile and I want to say thanks to Giuseppe who treated me very well. When I saw the water I said: 'Come on, everything is wide open again!' We tried, I was very calm at the beginning trying to see how the track grip was. For me now the most important thing is to finish the races, I couldn't afford another Aragon. When there were 10 laps left I started to push hard but when I got behind Pecco I couldn't see anywhere to overtake him, he accelerated too hard, then Zarco arrived and I had nothing more to give. I think the riders in front of me did a great race”.
The impression from the outside is that the Honda forced you to make more rounded lines than the Ducatis which are closer to the edge.
"Yes, it's this year's Honda, it hasn't changed. It's very hard up front, it went like in Malaysia before the season. In Japan, you can use it better because there is load on the front but in a race like this you are more careful, it is more difficult to be consistent. It takes time to get the bike going and in MotoGP you have to go close to the edges if you want to go fast ”.
The feeling is that your physical condition after the Japanese GP is better than it is now.
“No no, I'm very happy with this weekend, I think it's the best of the season. I went fast, I feel better on the bike. The bike turned, stopped and had grip until this morning, then today it did nothing, but it's my fault that I'm tired. It's the first weekend for a long time that I did the first lap on the attack and finished Q2 on the attack. My strength is improving, it is important and in the future we must try and find consistency ”.
Why do you think Zarco didn't overtake Pecco?
"Zarco was really strong, more than Pecco, but I don't think it was team orders".
He said there was.
“It's normal, Ducati hasn't won the world championship since 2007. In many races it's the Ducati Cup, they have the best bike, the riders are in front and I think they will use all the power they have to win the championship”.
Do you expect a step forward in the next races to get onto the podium, or maybe higher?
“It will be very important to rest next week, obviously training, to feel the step forward. Phillip Island is a good circuit for our bike so we will focus on that circuit. We will see, we will try to understand what there is to understand. From Aragon to here in Thailand the goal was to feel the improvements that have come and I know that Honda will bring new parts there. "
Will you go back to Spain or not?
“I have to go back to Spain, I would like to stay here but I can't. Work is work and I have to go to the physiotherapist, doctors to check everything ”.
And if you had to bet on who wins the title?
“I bet on Pecco's bike. Ducati is Ducati but Fabio is Fabio. He is riding very well, except today in the rain. I'm curious to see what will happen ”.
Was it a risky race?
"Well, yes, it was a bit on the limit, but I was there to race. It wasn't raining a lot, only on the back straight there was a lot of water, and also on the two straights, but it was nice to race. For me the most dangerous situation was that in Moto2, where the red flag should have gone out much earlier.”