Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has welcomed arch-rival Valentino Rossi's appeal to his fans to 'show respect to all MotoGP riders' at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Marquez, accused by Rossi last year of conspiring against him to thwart his title challenge, and Lorenzo have been offered bodyguards this weekend at Rossi's home race.
The nine-time world champion has told Italian press that his fans have to be respectful to all riders and Marquez thanked Rossi for the plea.
“Yes, I think this is good and I want to say thanks for saying these words. But I feel really good in the paddock, I feel well and like a normal GP,” he said.
“I know there will be more yellow flags than normal but this is normal, we are in Italy, we are in Rossi's home circuit and I respect this, but the most important is that we race on the track and the show for them is good.”
Marquez, fifth fastest and almost six tenths behind Ducati's Andrea Iannone on Friday in FP2, said that while he was still losing out on acceleration with the RC213V, the issue was not perhaps so pronounced at Mugello.
“With the Honda you need to push always at the maximum if you want to be fast, but here it looks like we have better acceleration and maybe we will lose a little bit less on this point, but we have many changes of direction and many 'floating' corners for smooth lines, like [Jorge] Lorenzo's type,” he said.
“But I feel quite good but I know that we are still losing on acceleration and we need to concentrate, especially in stability on the exit of the corners, but for the rest, I am feeling quite happy with the feeling with the bike.”
Like Rossi, Marquez practised his starts from pit lane and admitted it is an area where he feels there is room for improvement this season.
“There was a question mark in the rules because the rules told us that we can start only in the zone, in the place said by the Safety Commission or the Race Director, but we saw also that we were able to practice in the pit lane and I was testing some different things to try to improve,” Marquez said.
“At the moment, it looks like the starts are not my strongest point and we are trying to improve because last year I was able to start not so good, but overtake easy. This year, with the problems we have in the acceleration, I struggle more to overtake, so we need to improve the start.”
Marquez said he passed up the opportunity to properly test the intermediate Michelin tyres in the damp FP1 session on Friday morning and reiterated that he is not a fan of the compound.
“I used, but I did only an out and in lap. I already say sometimes I don't like the intermediate. This morning was the best conditions to use but the problem is you don't know the limit, where you can push, so no-one will take the risk,” he said.
“I say to my team, 'I will not be the first one with the intermediate', and I know that Cal [Crutchlow] [Yonny] Hernandez, maybe [Scott] Redding [used the intermediates], but in the end I am fighting with Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa and they didn't go out, so I didn't also.
“If the race is like this, I know nobody will start with the intermediate, they will start with slicks. It's something that maybe for one qualifying practice can work, but I am not a big fan.”