In hindsight, looking at the performance of his teammate Joan Mir and above all the exit of Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez threw away a great opportunity (perhaps unrepeatable?) at the Buddh International Circuit. The champion from Cervera could really savour the taste of the podium again in a long race after an encouraging third place in the Tissot Sprint on Saturday, but not before a sad mishap in the opening stages excluded him from the fight for second place with the reigning World Champion.
“I knew that the first laps would be decisive - declared the number 93 - if I managed to keep up with the Ducatis, in the second half I would be able to play my cards given that I generally manage to go better on used tyres. Unfortunately, I went a bit wide on turn 1 and lost the front, was very close to saving it, but it was impossible."
At least the Repsol Honda rider saved what could be saved once he hit the ground, promptly rejoining the track and climbing to ninth position at the end of a furious comeback: "My goal was to reach the finish line, I'm happy to have maintained a pace similar to that of Quartararo (third, ed.). Apart from Bezzecchi, Martin and Bagnaia, this weekend we remained in contention for the top-5 in every round. For this reason, I took more risks."
To get on the podium, however, a real exploit would have been needed against the impenetrable armour of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer: "Difficult without Bagnaia's crash... the reality is that the three leading Ducatis were on another level - he continued - not that it would have made a difference to me if I finished fifth or ninth. When I saw the podium in front of me, I tried, but I made a mistake. The important thing is to have completed the race and shown our consistency in pace."
The Buddh International Circuit gave a small glimmer of hope to Honda HRC, with both of its riders once again appearing at the top of the standings: “This racetrack is very similar to Austin, a lot of stop and go, first gear corners. It's not exactly the same here, but it's very similar and in those kinds of corners we are struggling less. Even though I'm still not riding according to my instincts. Being outside your comfort zone means greater concentration."
Some riders suffered a lot from the temperature, not Marc: "I didn't have any problems, for me the longer race of four laps wouldn't have been a problem, but I know that some riders suffered more. Usually, in very hot conditions I never suffer. During the race I pushed a lot, but not one hundred percent because I was trying to understand where the limit of the rear wheel was and the limit of my physical condition on this type of track, where you can't go faster than what you really feel. It's true that I, for example, suffer more when I have to use my arms, more than is acceptable, but here I didn't suffer from the temperatures."
And on the safety of the Indian facility, he added: "Dorna and the organization did an excellent job because before arriving here the situation seemed much more complicated. There are some things that need to be improved, especially at turn 10 we need to move the wall. It's a point that was discussed in the Safety Commission. It needs to be moved in case an accident occurs there."
Then he opened a window on his decision, which will probably be communicated in Japan: "We'll see. It's clear that we must talk about many things, we must continue building the project, we must continue improving, but this weekend helps the whole project a lot, It's a breath of fresh air. It will help us."
In closing, a comment about the misadventure involving the unfortunate Jorge Martin with his leathers: "It's impossible for mine to open like that, the Alpinestars system is tried and tested by now."