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MotoGP Austria: Marquez: Our opponents are Yamaha, but...

"If we forget the position and see only the championship I'd have signed-up for this before the race " - Marc Marquez.
"Zero" - that was the difference Marc Marquez's dislocated shoulder made to his end result, a fifth place, in Sunday's Austrian MotoGP.

"Okay, I was not 100% and it's painful now, but for riding the bike and the final result it was not a problem," he explained.

The MotoGP title leader dislocated his left shoulder in a Saturday morning accident, making an already tough weekend even harder: Repsol Honda did not attend a recent Red Bull Ring test, while the RC213V's lack of acceleration was a handicap out of the many slow turns.

While he wasn't able to repeat his Silverstone 2013 heroics, where he fought to the line for race victory just hours after dislocating the same shoulder, he was part of a six-rider lead group until the middle stages.

Thereafter he and Suzuki's Maverick Vinales lost touch with the Ducatis and Yamahas. Marquez finished in fifth place, some 11-seconds from victory, but a safe 2.5s ahead of Vinales and five-seconds clear of team-mate and next best Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.

"Fifth is only fifth, we would like to be more in front. But if we forget the position and see only the championship I'd have signed-up for this result before the race," Marquez declared. "Because Lorenzo only took five points more than me, Valentino two, so I'm happy for this.

"But I'm not happy with the way we struggled a lot during the race. I was there in the beginning, fighting and being really aggressive, but I saw that it was 50-50 to finish the race or crash.

"I went wide at turn 1; I locked the front and nearly crashed. I pushed again and went wide again in turn 3, so I thought it was time to come back in my rhythm and manage Vinales.

"We lose too much in acceleration at this circuit. It was impossible to recover. In the first part of the race, I was able to recover in the two left corners. I was very fast there, but when the tyre grip dropped it was impossible. So I had to slow down.

"Ducati was faster than us here and Yamaha's strongest point is that they were very constant on the acceleration. I suffered more when the edge of the Michelin tyre dropped and when I saw the temperature going up and up before the race, I thought 'ok, will be fifth place'.

"The good thing is Ducati were first and second, so Yamaha finished just in front of us."

Indeed, nearest title rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were both beaten by the factory Ducatis, meaning Marquez's large world championship lead was only slightly reduced.

Marquez heads into next weekend's Brno event with a 43-point lead over Lorenzo and 57-point advantage over Rossi.

Brno is another power-hungry circuit, so how significant will Ducati be in terms of the championship outcome?

"Ducati were very fast in Qatar. Looks like here even more and sure will arrive some circuits, for example Brno, where they can be fast. In the end our [title] opponents are Yamaha, but we cannot forget Ducati because they can finish between us and be another opponent for points. Maybe they will not be constant like Yamaha, but they have a good bike."

As well as dismissing his injured shoulder as a factor in the final result, Marquez also played down Honda's decision to skip last months' test - attended by all their main rivals - saying:

"Maybe instead of finishing eight seconds behind Valentino it would have been five."

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Marquez

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