9 October 2014
MotoGP Japan: No nerves for champion elect Marquez
“For Honda it would be nice to win here, but my target is to win the championship and it doesn't matter when” – Marc Marquez.
On Sunday at Motegi, reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will get the first of four chances to wrap-up the 2014 title.
Having won the first ten races it would seem a formality, however Marquez has only scored four points in the last two rounds after falling in very different circumstances.
The 22-year-old slipped off his Repsol Honda while chasing leader Valentino Rossi early at Misano, then fell from first while trying to brave out the rain at Aragon.
“This is the first chance to win the championship. Of course I'm happy that there are still four races to go, that is great news for me, but anyway we will try to focus like a normal race,” Marquez said on Thursday.
“It's nice to have the first chance here because it is Honda's home circuit, but I know that it will be difficult because I need to finish in front of Dani and Valentino, which probably means finishing first or second.
“We will try to do our best but anyway I'm not nervous because, of course for Honda it would be nice to win here, but my target is to win the championship and it doesn't matter when.
“You know how I ride and my mentality. Always I try to push. Okay if it was the last race I would think about the championship, but there are still four races so I'll try to ride with my usual style, push like always, try to find the limit.
“We will see on Sunday because it looks like a Typhoon is coming. If it rains, if it is another flag-to-flag race, we will try to think about Aragon and improve on that result!”
Marquez will be champion as long as he does not lose any points to team-mate and nearest rival Dani Pedrosa, loses three points or less to Rossi and 15 points or less to Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi was not surprised that Marquez plans to go on the attack.
“Marc built a big advantage at the beginning of the championship and now he can decide to ride at 100% always,” said the seven time MotoGP champion. “We have four races and - for sure Marc wants to try to win the championship as soon as possible - but it is not the final game, it is just the first 'match point'.
“For us, the other three, we just have to try to arrive in front of him, because we know on Sunday if we arrive behind the championship will be over and we want to try to keep it open for another weekend.”
Lorenzo put up a spirited late season attack to force Marquez into a final round showdown one year ago.
“If I was him I don't know how I'd manage it because I don't think I ever had such a big difference in points,” said the double MotoGP champion. “But I think I'd try to do it in the same way. Try to arrive at my limit, but not pass it. If you have such a big difference in the points there is less pressure, so I don't think he will be very nervous.”
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