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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.

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

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June 13, 2015 4:27 PM

VegasRyder: Hopefully marc and the zuks can keep jorge from making a break. i respect Jorge's abilty to do what he does. He's riding great. But from a spectators standpoint the races he has won are nowhere near as exciting as races where riders actually fight each other for it. Just check your pulse throught the races. The last 3 I had little or no variation. Other races however I think most of us got much more excited (heart pounding) when you don't know who is gonna win 1/2 way through the race. With that said I really hope he has to fight for it this time.
Could be true. The first 10 races in 2014 were just boring due to yam not as good as Honda. But the different thing is now the bike are as good as and jl can still do it. Hats off for jl


June 13, 2015 4:28 PM

Marc is right on his assumption about the Yam's race pace. I can not confirm what tyre VR was using in fp4, but if he was on the hard rear then his pace was very good (12 sub 1:43's laps). That said I am also not sure what MM was running either and he done 10 sub 1:43 laps. correct me if I am wrong but I reckon VR was on the hard rear and MM the medium? JL was on used, and still was impressive, but I assume they were used mediums. If that is all correct and the weather is as hot today or hotter, then expect VR to be there for the win. Warm up will give us a good indicator on race pace.....Excited much :)

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