17 October 2015
MotoGP Australia: Marquez: Podium, race finish is minimum requirement
Pole man Marc Marquez has set himself a target of finishing a MotoGP race at Phillip Island for the first time on the rostrum at least after two successive DNFs in 2013 and 2014.
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez says finishing the Australian MotoGP for the first time on the podium is his minimum requirement on Sunday at Phillip Island.
The two-time premier class champion was disqualified from the race in 2013 on his MotoGP debut at the spectacular venue after missing the pit-stop cut-off point to change bikes implemented due to tyre concerns by almost a full lap.
He endured more misery last season, crashing out while leading the race by four seconds.
Marquez, though, hopes his luck will change on Sunday and gave himself the best possible chance after powering to pole on the RC213V by more than three tenths from Ducati's Andrea Iannone and Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo following a lap in 1m 28.364s.
“It looks like the level is good, I feel well, I feel strong and in Motegi we were struggling a little bit more, but here again I feel strong,” Marquez said.
“Tomorrow in the race will be maybe different because here, 27 laps in a row, you must be careful with the rear tyre because it is spinning a lot and we are trying to find the best set-up.
“Especially today, we did a big improvement and I feel well; we will see tomorrow but it looks also like Jorge's pace is not so bad and tomorrow he will do a step because he is fighting for a title and he will be really strong.
“We will try to be there, minimum on the podium, and if we can fight for the victory we will try,” he added.
“We will try to finish the race here in Phillip Island and be there on the podium because here I didn't finish a race in MotoGP.”
Marquez had a big moment at the Honda Hairpin on his second time attack in Q2 when his feet came off the pegs after he almost fell, with the incident causing him pain in his injured left hand.
“I had a big moment on turn 4 and there is where you push more and I feel a little bit painful with the reaction, but it's fine, everything OK,” said Marquez, who said the changeable track temperature at Phillip Island will be a key factor during the 27-lap race.
“This will maybe be one of the keys of the race [change of temperature] to try to understand the conditions of the track, to understand the wind direction and especially the temperature,” he said.
“Last year, when I slowed down was when I crashed, because the tyre was a little bit colder, but it looks like this year the asymmetric is working better because the middle is softer; it should be OK, but you never know.”
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