We have reached the point that in every single circumstance in which a microphone is placed in front of Marc Marquez everyone is waiting for that sentence which hasn’t arrived so far. Today Marc climbed onto the podium at Motegi, letting his crystal-clear talent shine, which in the wet was not neutered by a not exactly ship-shape Honda. Numerous interviews and eyes on him because the rider himself had said several times that there would be important meetings with Honda top management in Japan.
The Spaniard continues to send messages and although he has not yet uttered the long-awaited phrase 'yes, next year I will race on a Gresini Ducati', he continues to suggest that this is the path he intends to take.
"It's not today’s result, or Misano or Barcelona, that makes me change my mind - explained Marc - I have a clear idea in my mind what needs to happen to make one decision or another. But I can say that today was a very romantic tale, so I liked it."
A declaration uttered at the press conference, which made Bagnaia smile and react by exclaiming 'Bye, bye Honda! It looks like Valentino's kiss on his bike’.
Marc then continued the story of this day, which was in any case particular.
"Of course it's a very important podium, which came late but at least it came right on the Honda track on a day in which I was able to take advantage of the conditions. I already saw that it would be a long race, so I tried not to destroy the tyres at the beginning, when there was not much water. Then, when a lot more rain started to fall, I started to come back and feel good. Great race by Martin and Bagnaia, when you're fighting for the title it's not easy to take risks like that. I'm enjoying the podium."
Would it have been possible to take a risk and stay another lap on slicks?
"It was possible to do another lap on the slicks, but when you're in the top group and everyone pits, the best and easiest thing to do is just pit. I know I'm fast on the rain tyres, so it was the right choice at that moment. I just tried to manage as best I could, maybe staying on the track would have been too risky."
You complimented Martin and Bagnaia.
"When you fight for the title and face a race like this, I know well what it means. You're concentrated in the fight, you perhaps have a little more pressure and concentration because you're thinking about the classification. The race was good, I closely watched the duel between them."
Do you think it will be possible to see you on the podium again in the next races?
"I don't think so. Here and in Japan there are slow corners, you can take risks when braking. But we'll go to Mandalika and you ride differently there, you can't do anything in those conditions because the layout doesn't help our bike. I'll do everything to enjoy what's to come, in India it was a good weekend, here I'm on the podium. The Sprint Race was good yesterday too. I hope I can continue like this until the end of the year."
Was it right to stop the race?
“It's also true that the two riders in front had a lot more to lose than me, they are fighting for the championship, but stopping the race was the right decision, especially because of the lack of light.”