Alex Marquez did not disappoint at Sepang, after the excellent pace shown in free practice on Friday. First in Qualifying a yellow flag stopped the Spaniard from conquering the front row. Starting from fourth place, was clear the Spaniard had a margin on pace, he then fought with the two Ducati riders competing for the title, a clash that was not unexpected but difficult to manage. Alex showed his teeth and got the better of his opponents with clean overtaking, avoiding drama and taking the right precautions; he wanted victory and took it, with the respect of those who have already experienced the fight for the title and know well what goes through the minds of your rivals.
"I knew I had a good opportunity to get a good result - admits Alex Marquez - but I didn't think I would have such a margin. In qualifying, Marini's yellow flag in the third sector prevented me from improving my fastest lap. In the race I was expecting Pecco and Jorge to be there up front fighting, this morning the feeling in traction wasn't optimal, I myself was surprised, and instead everything happened in a very natural way from the first to the last lap."
Might this superiority in the sprint also be the same in tomorrow's race?
"It's possible, but I'd be lying to you if I said that the feeling was perfect this morning. Over the long distance in the race there are many unknowns, starting with tire management, it's difficult to make predictions. Pecco and Martin are both very competitive and will certainly make a further step forward tomorrow, even if today I saw that Jorge had something more, Pecco had some difficulties. Obviously let's not forget about the data, they will check mine and I will check theirs, we know how it works in Ducati, I myself have learned a lot from them in this season".
Where do you feel you have made the most difference?
"In braking the level was good but I think I really made the difference in the mixed part of the track, maintaining speed at every corner. It's something we also had in Thailand, it's certainly the thing that gives me the most satisfaction besides the victory ".
Just yesterday you said that if you found yourself fighting with Pecco and Martin, you would only think about your race, and so it was.
"Yes, while I was chasing Pecco I watched him to find a small mistake or a glimmer of opportunity that would allow me to overtake, but I was always at the limit. The move on Bagnaia was a clean overtaking, if I had made a mistake I could always have gone wide, like at turn 15, because when you find yourself competing against riders who are fighting for the title, above all you need respect. I've also been through that situation in Moto2 and Moto3, so I understand their mental state well. Normally I'm a rider with an aggressive riding style, today I was but in a clean way and with a bit more caution, but I had a margin over my rivals and this made overtaking much easier for me than if I had been at the limit".
And in the race, the Spaniard was able to manage the "thorny" issue well, while managing the pressure on the front at the same time.
"I kept calm and waited, after trying a few attacks I managed to pass him. With the technicians we paid particular attention to the tire pressure, initially I didn't think I would dominate the race from the first laps. At the beginning of the year in managing the pressure the sensations at the front were the worst, now they are the best because we no longer need to work too much on the bike's setup."