Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez said he 'pushed to the limit' in his efforts to deny Jorge Lorenzo victory in the MotoGP World Championship finale at Valencia in Spain.
Reports emerged following the race that Valentino Rossi believed both Honda riders, Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, had the pace to defeat Lorenzo on Sunday, but the outing world champion said he tried all he could to find a way past without success.
Marquez shadowed Lorenzo throughout the 30-lap race and had closed onto the rear of the Yamaha M1 in the final laps as Pedrosa reeled in both riders after clawing back a deficit of two seconds.
The 30-year-old managed to pass Marquez briefly on the penultimate lap but ran slightly wide, allowing his team-mate back into second place as Lorenzo benefitted from their brief tussle at the front.
Marquez, who finished third in the final standings behind Lorenzo and Rossi, said he also had to abort a planned attack on the race leader due to a yellow-flag situation.
“During the race I start really focused because I know that Jorge was really strong on the first laps and the first 20 laps it was really difficult to follow him, but I was able to be maximum one second behind him,” said Marquez.
“I saw that Dani was far and then when remain six, seven laps, I catch him completely and then I start to think about the other races and I remember in Indianapolis I started to push when remain two or three laps, so I [decided] I will try to do the same.
“Then I was really close and when remained four laps I said I will attack, but then there were yellow flags at the place where I was closer because in the acceleration I was losing a lot,” he added.
“I say I will wait until the next lap and on the next lap, Dani arrived to overtake me and I was impressed about this, but he go wide and he was out of the line and I tried to be inside for try to catch Jorge again because in that situation we lose half a second.”
Reflecting on the final lap of the race, Marquez said he was disappointed not to end the campaign with a victory and admitted he must improve with Honda in 2016 to challenge for the title.
“On the last lap I tried to push at the limit and last corner I was close, but not enough for win the race so disappointed not to win the last race but in the end we were on the podium so next season we must do better,” said the 22-year-old.
“It has been a really difficult season and we did a few mistakes that we must avoid next season. This last race was not easy for this situation and also because during the season I crashed six times, so I say okay, we must finish this race – I cannot crash again, so for this reason it was difficult to take a lot of risks.
“In the end, we finished too far from the top but we will try next season to fight for the title again.”