MotoGP world championship leader Marc Marquez decided to ride with his head at Jerez to secure 16 points in third place as soaring track temperatures affected him adversely under braking.
The Repsol Honda rider accepted third place was the best he could muster at the Spanish circuit and revealed that he began the race with a plea from HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto ringing in ears, who asked him to 'finish the race'.
“I tried from the beginning, I start well and then Dani [Pedrosa] overtook me but I overtook him and I started to follow Jorge [Lorenzo],” Marquez said.
“I saw in some laps that maybe I was able to overtake Jorge, but I already started to feel that the front tyre for me was on the soft side, so I decided to wait a little bit but I saw that for my riding style the temperature was more and I felt it a lot, especially in the brake points.
“I wasn't able to stop the bike and when I was behind Jorge, he started to open some metres and every acceleration I was losing some metres.
“I tried to recover on the brake points but I was overheating more and more the front tyre so I took a difficult decision and say 'today, 16 points is enough, it is our position',” added Marquez, who admitted that last season he may have been less inclined to accept third place.
“Of course, maybe last year it was different but this winter I learned a lot and already before the race [Shuhei] Nakamoto [HRC vice-president] say to me, 'please finish the race'.”
Elaborating on the problem he faced in Sunday's race due to the increase in track temperature, Marquez explained that his front wheel was locking up under braking when he attempted to use the same markers that he had been capable of using throughout practice and qualifying when the track was cooler.
“I was trying a lot to stop the bike on the brakes because still we are losing a little bit on the acceleration, so I tried to recover in the brake points,” he said.
“During the weekend I was able to ride with this riding style because the temperature was much lower, but with more temperature the front tyre was maybe on the soft side and wasn't able to brake in the same place.
“I tried one more time to brake in the same place as I did in practice but I saw that the front was locking and moving a lot and I saw it was not possible,” he added.
“In Jerez we know with my riding style it is not one of the best tracks and we know that we are not in 100 per-cent level with the bike and when I saw that Valentino was in an incredible level and Lorenzo was faster than us, it is 16 points and be quiet for the next race. For that reason, I slowed down a little bit to keep this place.
“We look forward tomorrow's test because we must improve in some areas.”
Marquez holds a lead of 17 points over Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the world championship after the first four rounds, with race winner Valentino Rossi a further seven points back.