MotoGP champion Marc Marquez may have made 'an error of judgment' at Mugello on Saturday, but Valentino Rossi and Cal Crutchlow are sure he will be competitive in the race.

Marquez will start the Italian Grand Prix from just 13th on the grid after initially failing to set a top ten practice time, forcing him to attend Qualifying 1, then being unable to reach the second and final part of qualifying.

"I think that Marc today made an error of judgement, because he was very fast and tried not to use the [new] tyre this morning and especially I think the mistake was to use just one tyre this afternoon [in qualifying]," Rossi said.

Related Articles

"But keep attention to Marquez, because he is 13th but he has a great pace. Also with a used tyre. So he is not so far. For sure he will do a great race tomorrow."

Marquez's fellow Honda competitor Cal Crutchlow, who went on to qualify as the top RC213V in fourth, agreed.

"You are going to see Marc fight for the podium even though he is so far back," the Englishman declared.

"We know they didn't put a new tyre when everyone else did [in FP3], and didn't go back out [in Q1], and that's that. Normally on a longer track like this everything spreads out, but everyone is so close. It's great for you guys, shit for us!

"No, I don't think he's over-riding the bike," Crutchlow added. "Sometimes riders go in a little bit hot and that's it. Marc is a two time MotoGP champion. He knows how to deal with the pressure.

"I think we need to be careful what people think and say about Marc's result today. Sometimes you have a couple of strange races, strange sessions and I'd bet a lot of money he'll be fighting for the podium tomorrow.

"Look at Lorenzo. I beat Lorenzo in Argentina but he's hammered me in the last two races and he looks like he could be close [to winning] again this weekend.

"Marc can win from the back of the grid. We've seen him do it before in two championships [125cc and Moto2]. I would not bet that he couldn't do it in MotoGP as well..."

Judging by his pace on old tyres in Saturday's FP3, Marquez is capable of matching Jorge Lorenzo in the 1m 47s on old tyres, but seems less consistent than the Yamaha rider.

Marquez is 33 points behind Rossi after one win from the opening five races.