MotoGP's Marc Marquez admitted he is yet to perfect his dirt track technique despite climbing the Superprestigio podium for a second time in as many years, and revealed he was close to racing in the Superpresitigio of the Americas event two weeks before.
Coming off victory in the 'Superprestigio' class final, the two-time MotoGP world champion came within a tenth of a second of winning the Superfinal, as he reeled in and attempted to overtake American dirt track star Brad Baker.
However, knowing the preparations of a grand prix season will begin soon after the new year, Marquez spoke of how he didn't risk everything as he attempted to find a way past, and acknowledged Baker and countryman Jared Mees were more effective in using different lines around the tight track.
“I made a mistake at the start and Brad went into the lead,” said Marquez. “He opened up some gap. I was able to reduce it but to overtake, especially with the conditions of the track, was really, really difficult. I tried in the last corner but this year I learnt some more things about them. They are racing all year around ovals with Harley Davidsons. I'm happy to be here on the podium for one more year.
“I was really really close to Brad, but one important thing is that I do only one race per year with these bikes. So even though I train a lot, normally we only train together and don't make races. So when you are there with one guy that is close level, all year I watch Jared and Brad on video, they are together, they are fighting all the year.
“When I am behind them, it's difficult to slide and to believe that he will do a correct line, and to overtake, OK, maybe last corner, I could go in crazy, but I think it was not the time.
“Also because I have to think about next year's MotoGP season, that will be important. Of course I take a risk to try to overtake, but I think this experience is where Brad and Jared make the difference, because they have many different lines.”
The event in Barcelona was preceded by the Superprestigio of the Americas race in Las Vegas, organised by World Superbike founder Steve McLaughlin. It was there that Baker and Mees familiarised themselves with the tighter layout and shorted capacity machines.
Marquez went on to reveal how he had come close to participating only for HRC's post-season test at Jerez to take priority.
“Honestly I was thinking of going to Las Vegas. I planned to go there and I already spoke with Honda. The problem was that I had a test in Jerez after the Superprestigio [of the Americas] and that was the reason Honda say, 'Please Marc, the MotoGP test is more important.'
“That's the reason I cancel. I would like to go there to race with 19-inch tyres. It will be nice to go there one day but just to enjoy. Not to compete.”