Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez starts this weekend's Malaysian MotoGP with a 33-point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, with just two rounds remaining...

Q: It's a big weekend coming up. Do you still feel the nerves and the excitement like when you were fighting for your first title?

Marc Marquez: It's a big weekend, a different weekend! In the end I will try to approach it the same and try to push 100%. But now there are only two races remaining. Of course I've opened up a big advantage, but you can lose it in the same way.

It's something that's inside my head and I will try to be with the same mentality, but then on Sunday we will try to manage to the risk. But I don't want to be focussed or stressed that I need to win here: I need to take points here and try to be champion here or Valencia. That has been the target since the first race.

Q: Not many people expected Andrea Dovizioso to be your main rival this year. What has it been like and what do you think of him as a rival?

Marc Marquez: Yeah you know, a different competitor. Different mentality. Especially the mentality of Dovi, it is something where I've learned many things from him. Because every rider, every opponent is different. With some weak points and some strong points. But Dovi was really quiet and was always doing his job.

For example - of course in Australia he did a few mistakes - but he never went outside of 'his style'. He kept his style, finished the race and did his 100%. It's something that he's been doing really good.

Q: Is it harder fighting for the championship with a new opponent?

Marc Marquez: The hardest thing is fighting with someone that doesn't have - I mean, he has pressure, but not the same pressure. Because if Dovi wins the championship; amazing season. If he finishes second; amazing season. For both Dovi and Ducati.

So it's hard because you can feel when you speak with journalists, with people. It's like you can lose the championship and he can only win. You know what I mean? It's something interesting and something you need to manage!

Q: Are you curious to see how your bike has changed since you were here in testing?

Marc Marquez: I'm curious to see because I think we have improved a lot, but already here in the pre-season I was not so bad. I was fast, good rhythm. But it's also one of the circuits where - for some years, for some reason - I'm struggling. So we will see this year if we are struggling or not.

We also have to decide if we start with the set-up base from the pre-season test, or the one we have been using now. The electronics have changed a lot, we improved a lot there. So it will be interesting to see during the weekend.

Q: Why do you struggle here? Is it certain parts of the track, your style…

Marc Marquez: It's maybe the style. A few years I did really good races, but it's like the hot conditions make everything a little bit more slippery and slow. And my aggressive style, sometimes is not working here. Because the grip is not so good and everything became like 'softer'. And then it's like I'm pushing too much the tyres and pushing too much the bike. So I need to be smooth.

Q: Do you have a prediction for the weekend?

Marc Marquez: You know the weather? Impossible to predict! Of course for me the main target is try to be on the podium. For me it doesn't matter who won, finished second, just be on the podium and focus in my box.

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I used to really find Marquez irritating, mainly because he never stopped winning throughout 2014... Now seeing him mature and still be as exciting on track and friendly with nearly all his rivals and team mate it's hard not to like him. He's an ideal role model on how sportsmen should act towards one and other.

Yes such a shame he did irreparable damage to his reputation in 2015

Absolutely a great kid.  You can watch an interview from 2010, 2012, 2013, and on and it's the same guy, only smarter and more capable than before.  He loves to win like everybody else.  Why not!  But he also loves the battles and the competition.  This is what keeps him motivated.

If he was blowing everyone into the weeds race after race, I could seem him retiring, simply because there's no challenge.  He thrives on that.  And fortunately for us, we have Rossi, Dovi, Pedrosa, Folger, Zarco, Petrucci, Vinales, etc, who look forward every weekend to eclipsing him.

Watching too Rossi's post-race interviews about how much fun Phillip Island was, really made me appreciate what these guys look on as entertaining; banging bikes at 150 MPH.  Yeah, that sounds like a blast!  NOT!

This is another great era to be a fan.

You know who missed out though.  I just noticed this from watching the MotoGP PI highlight replay

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iTmGQs1A0s

The cameraman at the start finish blew it.  He got the leader coming in.  He got the checkered flag waver, but he missed getting both in the same shot together.  His "money shot," blown! 

He practiced weeks beforehand.  Had several races that day to get it right and when it came to the one shot that mattered, nada.  hahaha

Whomever he was.  Thanks a lot!  :(

 

The fat lady is backstage warming up!

I think Marc will be competitive in Sepang. Not so long ago, some circuits that's not Honda/Marc's favorite but he/they on the podium. Marc will become champ once again in Sepang, it's a place of historical battle (Rossi vs Marc, Simoncelli tragedy etc).

Yeah, Marc is on his way to being the best ambassador this sport ever had besides Nicky Hayden.  But since Marc is achieving more results, he will have more impact.  He's gracious, polite, charismatic, a genius rider and ruthless on the track.  He's got the complete package and he will likely be called GOAT.  Here's to hoping so. It wont be long before he has the statistics to back it up.  Someone here stated his reputation was irreparably damaged in 2015.  There isnt one team, owner, sponsor, manufacturer, championship, or journalist that wouldn't jump at having full access to Marquez.  Yeah, that sounds to me like his rep is tarnished.  I dont cheer for him in races (I save that for Jorge, Dovi, Aleix and Folger) but I am smart enough to know he is simply the best guy on the grid. 

What a load of old nonsense 

Ducati boss said they would have gone after Marquez but he knew Honda would never let him go. Honda was forced to give Marquez a say in the development direction (a luxury they didn't even afford to Rossi or stoner). There are rumours about him and KTM. If you go to the MotoGP website, he is consistently the top 2 trending riders. Yeah sounds like a lot of lost reputation to me. 

Agree - 100%.  He is one the most talented people every to swing a leg over a motorcylce.  However more importantly, he is level headed and has not let the fame get the better of him and seems still super-excited to just to race a bike. He is a marketer's dream.  He is to motorcyling what Roger Federer is to tennis.

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