Marc's qualifying ended in the best possible way for Honda’s Spanish champion. From the start from the pits in an attempt to chase Bezzecchi during a run, to crossing lines with an unhappy Bagnaia, which allowed Marc to exploit his tow and gain a front row start behind Pecco. In the Sprint Honda's weaknesses made themselves felt, and the Spaniard finished in seventh position.
"When I returned to the pits during qualifying, I gave my team the thumbs-up - said Marc - I'm not sure I understood what happened, but somehow I brought home the result. I'm not saying it won't happen again in future, but I think it's one of my strengths. This time, I was not looking for Pecco. I was looking for Bezzecchi. But he went out from the box too fast, we were a bit slow, and I said ‘OK, I will do the lap alone’. Bagnaia was on a hot lap and then in turn one, I decided to go wide. Because if he's coming in a hot lap, it's impossible for me to follow him, because you're coming from the box the tyres are new. But then when he stopped at my side and started to shake his hands, I was saying ‘thank you’! Because of this, I had the chance to follow him. And it's what I did. In the race, we came back to our natural position.”
Alex Rins seems to be injured, it's something we're getting used to with this new format. There was no lack of contact in the race, you yourself had an episode with Miller, what do you think?
"The problem is that now, on the race weekend, we're all in total attack mode right from FP1. Last year, with normal weather, you only pushed in FP3. You can tell from the use of soft compounds, now there's a lot more time attack. I'm not entirely against the sprint race, I think it should stay, but I think Friday should become a day of free practice like in the past, and limit the fastest laps to FP3, concentrating on the results on Saturday. We are all always at the limit, I hope Rins recovers soon. Regarding the episode of Binder with my brother, he was rightly penalized. It's a pity for my brother who has had bad luck lately despite being fast. As for me with Miller, it's a race accident also dictated by the conditions on the limit of the track, this time it was my turn but MotoGP is also made of this".
You were up against Jack Miller's KTM, where was it stronger?
"Compared to him, I was losing a lot on the straight and in acceleration, while in the rest of the circuit I was faster, I felt stronger. The problem is that qualifying and the race are two very different situations. But the problem is that you arrive on the brake point 10 meters behind the others and then you cannot overtake. But the others arrive at your side and they take the line and overtake you. So for that reason, it's quite difficult to fight with this bike. I always push hard, but then when I brake I arrive at three meters from the others, they catch up with me and once I've taken the line it's impossible to defend it. It was difficult to fight in Le Mans and then I crashed because I tried to fight when it was not possible. And today I just aid ‘OK, it's not possible, I’ll stay here and finish the race’.
Have you had the opportunity to work with the new chassis?
"I tried both chassis, but for the race I decided to go out with the one I knew, the one we mounted yesterday, because it was the safest, and tomorrow we'll continue with that. For the future, however, I'll try them both again, because the one from the start of the season has some positive points, but on the straight the engine doesn't push enough".