13 June 2015
MotoGP Catalunya: Marquez 'I will fight to stay with the Yamahas'
“I need to do my 100% all the race if I want to be there or as close as possible” – Marc Marquez.
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez feels Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have the edge heading into Sunday's Catalunya race.
But the Repsol Honda star, who already faces a 49-point gap to title leader Rossi, vowed not to back off despite his Mugello fall and revealed that big progress has been made towards solving the RCV's corner-entry woes
Suzuki stole the qualifying headlines by claiming a shock one-two, with Marquez in a close fourth place, just 0.2s from pole and 0.1s from Lorenzo.
But the Suzukis benefited from the soft Open class rear tyre and in terms of race pace Marquez is adamant it is the Yamahas that hold the advantage.
“In FP3 still we tried many things and then in FP4 we tried to put the best of what we have and looks like the pace was better, but even like that still not enough for be with both Yamaha riders,” he declared. “Especially Jorge but also Valentino is strong and that is where tomorrow in the warm-up we still try to work to find something to be closer for the second part of the race.”
Lorenzo set a devastating long-run pace in Saturday morning practice, only for the likes of Rossi and Marquez to suddenly exceed the #99's sub-1m 43s laps during FP4. However Marquez believes Lorenzo was using old tyres, masking his pace.
“Jorge was really, really fast in those ten laps [in FP3]. The thing is that in those five laps maybe we can be with him, but then our tyre drops and it looks like he is able to keep the pace a little better,” he said.
“Looks like this morning Jorge was really strong, but this afternoon he kept his tyres, he was with used tyres, and even like that he was strong. We will try to be with him but we must be honest and at the moment still we are not ready to fight with them.
“What we are missing is rear grip on corner exit. The bike is spinning, is moving, and is the most difficult point. I think everybody is struggling with rear grip but looks like Honda riders are struggling a little bit more, but we will try to be as close as possible to Yamaha riders that look the strongest.”
Nevertheless, Marquez declared that his RCV now behaves much more like last year's all-conquering machine on corner entry, having labelled such slides as his biggest problem last time at Mugello.
“I'm happy for this. Still it is not completely the same as last year but we improve a lot on this corner entry. This problem that we had with the big sliding, at this circuit we improve. With the exhaust, with the things we tried by the electronics, it looks like we improved and for that reason I'm happy.”
Despite falling while pushing to stay in the fight for second at Mugello, Marquez ruled out changing his tactics.
“No!” he smiled. “Tomorrow I will try to be with Yamahas until I see that is not possible. In Mugello it is true that I was there, but then I crashed. But you cannot start a race thinking 'I cannot push because maybe I will crash'.
“You must go out and then feel where is the limit and try to be there. I know I'm not in the situation to manage the race, to push a little bit more or less. I need to do my 100% all the race if I want to be there or as close as possible.”
One of the biggest unknowns ahead of the race is the performance of pole sitter Aleix Espargaro and rookie team-mate Maverick Vinales.
“Looks like not only Aleix but both Suzuki riders are really strong,” Marquez said. “Especially on one lap but not only one lap. Also on race distance, especially Aleix is stronger. I think the first ten laps they can be there, then we will see. They did a big step also with the top speed. They are like 6-8km/h slower than us so congrats to Suzuki because they did a good job.”
Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa will start from sixth.
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