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Qatar MotoGP: Marquez enjoying Rossi rivalry

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez is hoping for more MotoGP showdowns with Valentino Rossi this season after thriller in Qatar
Marc Marquez is relishing the prospect of further battles with Valentino Rossi in this year's MotoGP World Championship after the pair turned on the style in Qatar.

Reigning champion Marquez emerged on top of a pulsating final lap duel to begin his title defence with a victory, shrugging off the effects of a barely healed broken leg to take all 25 points on the Repsol Honda RC213V.

It was the perfect beginning to the new season for the 21-year-old, who is already looking forward to the next round in Texas, where Marquez claimed his maiden premier class victory in 2013.

“It was a great race for the fans but those 25 points are so important for me after losing pre-season with the injury,” he said. “It was an unusual weekend because there were many riders at the front that are [not usually there].

“We will see in the next race if this is normal; I hope so for the show. I enjoyed a lot the last lap with Valentino; last year we had a battle on the last lap and he won it [to finish second] and this year it was another battle on the last lap, which was so great: I hope we can have some more battles in the future.

“My question mark [with the leg injury] was the second part of the race but the leg was not the biggest problem, it was my right arm; because I didn't have as much power in my right leg I was pushing more with my right arm and it was so tired after five or six laps,” he added.

“The important thing was that I was fast in the beginning and then in the last ten laps I was able to attack a little bit more.”

The race saw a series of fallers, with Jorge Lorenzo, Stefan Bradl, Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith all ending up in the gravel trap, a situation that Marquez admitted affected his confidence slightly, even if this was far from apparent on the race track.

“It was difficult to get the confidence because you could see many riders crashing; they were losing the front so quick. I had some problems with the front during the race but I think everyone had that problem; it was a tricky race but the 25 points are important,” he said.

“I think I had a small advantage with the hard rear tyre; I chose the hard rear in the last moment and my technicians looked at me a little bit strange, but in the warm-up laps I felt great and we decided we would see what happened.”

Turning his attention to Austin, Texas, for round two, Marquez added: “I have good memories and it's one of my favourite tracks; for sure we will try to repeat [his 2013 victory].”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi and Marquez, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Rossi and Marquez, Qatar MotoGP 2014
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Marquez, Rossi Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Marquez Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Bautista, Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Maverick Vinales, Rossi, Marquez Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
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Marquez, Aragon MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Aragon MotoGP 2016
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Lorenzo, Rossi, Aragon MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aragon MotoGP 2016
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Marquez, Rossi Aragon MotoGP 2016
Marquez fans, Aragon MotoGP 2016

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March 23, 2014 9:46 PM

Beware what you hope for, young man! Jokes aside, golden age for motoGP, many champs on the track and the change of baton from the young champ to the older legend... And all smiles and happiness and no drama... So far at least :). Very mature and sporty of Vale, not many legends manage to approach the end with this light-hardheartedness.


March 23, 2014 11:20 PM

Paging all the Rossi-haters! Paging the trolls! Hello, come in please. And it's always important to remember, when watching this type of extremely close contest, that it's 'Man plus MACHINE'. The Honda clearly had an edge on top end. Nice to see VR enjoying himself, something you rarely witnessed the last couple of years.

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