The history books will show that Marc Marquez walked away from his first MotoGP race with a podium finish and the fastest race lap.

But he also gained valuable information by studying some of MotoGP's best at close range for the first time.

The 20-year-old Moto2 champion spent large parts of the grand prix shadowing Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

The closing stages then saw Marquez locked in thrilling duel with Yamaha's Valentino Rossi for second place, a fight the Italian won by just 0.2s.

Between them, Rossi and Pedrosa have claimed 101 MotoGP race wins.

"I learned a lot," said Marquez. "For example with used tyres. In free practice with used tyres I tried to use too much corner speed and banking. It was more difficult. When I followed Pedrosa I could see it was easier - and faster - to ride like him.

"I saw too that for physical condition it is hard. Much more than in Moto2. Especially when my bike was a little nervous. I had to play a lot with my body and weight position to get the best grip.

"To pass the other riders is also harder in MotoGP and you need to prepare more."

Like Rossi, Marquez had lost ground relative to his practice position during the new 15-minute qualifying format. Starting from sixth, the Spaniard then dropped as low as seventh during the early part of the race.

"I need to improve in qualifying because I struggle a bit to be fast at the beginning, but I think this will improve with more kilometres," he said. "Overall, I am happy but we need to concentrate. Especially Jorge is so fast and constant and we need to try and match that."

Reigning double champion Lorenzo won the race by six-seconds. Pedrosa slipped back to fourth.


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