MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez came within inches of disaster when he was forced to back out of a pass for second on Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
The incident occurred on the penultimate lap of their home race in Catalunya, when Marquez - who had shadowed Pedrosa for the entire grand prix - attempted to out-brake the MotoGP title leader.
“I tried to prepare an attack, but I did it in the wrong place. I thought I was stronger there, but on that lap Dani also braked quite hard. I nearly crashed and lost too much time,” said Marquez.
He added: “We didn't touch but it was very, very close. I already said to him, 'when you see the video - sorry!'”
“On the last laps it doesn't matter if it's your team-mate ahead or not. But you never want to touch your team-mate. For that reason I braked so hard, because if not it was too dangerous,” added Marquez, who clashed with Lorenzo at the final turn of the previous Spanish round.
Although Marquez kept his RCV on track during the aborted pass, the time lost in avoiding contact meant Pedrosa remained just out of reach, crossing the line 0.063s ahead.
Despite the mistake, Marquez felt the race had been overwhelmingly positive. “I didn't understand all weekend how to ride a MotoGP bike here, but in the race behind Dani I learned many things.”
The Austin race winner added: “I didn't expect to be with Jorge and Dani because they had much more rhythm. But I did a very good start, attacked the first lap and then was on the limit from the first lap to the end.
“The most important thing was that even with the problems - the set-up was not the best nor my riding style - I was able to be up front with them. I'm very happy, it gives me a lot of confidence and it's important to finish on the podium.
“Also, a weekend without any crashes is important!”
Marquez, whose perfect MotoGP podium run came to an end when he fell shortly after successfully overtaking Pedrosa at the previous Mugello round, remains third in the world championship behind Pedrosa and Sunday's race winner Jorge Lorenzo.
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