Like Martin, Marc Marquez also bet on the soft tire and lost. In his case, however, the gamble was understandable because Honda’s Spanish rider had nothing to lose. Last year, thanks to the same choice, he managed to get on the podium but, today, there was nothing he could do. And the point for a 15th place is no consolation.
“Looking at the times, I understood that, with the medium tire, I could’ve finished around a10th, 11th place. But, by taking a risk with the soft, I would’ve had the chance to stay in the group up front,” Marquez explained. “The problem was that Martin made the same choice. He set a very fast pace, he broke up the group, and I couldn’t manage the tires. Last year, I got on the podium with that tire. This time, it didn’t happen. The gamble didn’t pay off, but it was my decision.”
Have you changed your mind about who the favorite between Martin and Bagnaia Is for the final victory after today?
“I still believe that Martin is the favorite to win the title because he’s the fastest. Today he certainly regretted his choice because, with the medium, he would’ve been the fastest anyway. I don’t understand the reason for his decision. I’m surprised. But it wasn’t a mistake. It was a lesson. He hasn’t often ended up fighting for a championship, and you make mistakes.”
Was it impossible to get to the end with that tire?
“Jorge said he kept a bit of a margin, but he lapped in 1’28”, like me in qualifying,” he said laughing. “He was very fast. I calculated to keep a pace around a high 1’29” When I did a few laps in a low 1’29”, I realized that I was wearing out the tire too much. At that point, I decided to keep pushing and figured out that I soon wouldn’t have a chance. On the tenth lap, I had the first drop. I was able to manage it but, with six laps to go, I was lapping two seconds slower than before.”
Today was Zarco’s day. So many different winners on the Ducati means that no one really takes it to the limit?
“Jorge, Bagnaia, and sometimes Bezzecchi, are the ones who make the difference. When you see a group of riders with the same bike and the same pace, it means that they’re making the most of it, but without exaggerating. When, instead, you see one or two who manage to lower their times by three or four tenths compared to the others, then it means that they’re making a difference.”
Seeing Di Giannantonio on the podium, did you think about what you could do with that bike?
“Di Giannantonio is a rider who has had some good races and did well today, even if he doesn’t have the consistency of others. I don’t want to say anything about what it’ll be for me. I’ll have to feel comfortable, adapt and, above all, have fun, try to ride relaxed, which I can’t do now. Of course, until you test a bike, you have doubts. You start to think that, after eleven years of riding one bike, it’s not easy to adapt to another.”
How do you prepare for it?
“I continue to focus on my season, pushing. There are those who say I’m just strolling along. I'm not, because I need to maintain this intensity to be ready when I get on the new bike.”
There’s the short race tomorrow.
“It’ll be strange to race the sprint on Sunday. I think that most of the riders will use the soft tire tomorrow. Maybe some will use the medium, because I had the first drop around the 7th, 8th lap today. The main problem for me is the front, because I had graining, and that forced me to use the rear more.”