Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez says he won't be disappointed if he fails to win another race this season as long as he clinches the MotoGP world title.
Marquez leads Valentino Rossi by 43 points with five races remaining, including this weekend's 14th round of the championship at Motorland Aragon.
The Repsol Honda rider has ditched his win-at-all-costs mentality in 2016 and the strategy has paid dividends, with Marquez favourite to win his third premier class crown even though he has only won three races so far this season.
“If I win the title without winning more races, then it is OK. We need to manage this and work hard but we know that here is a good circuit for us and Phillip Island and Valencia, but this year you never know. With the tyres and the electronics, you can win by 10 seconds or you can be struggling and finish 10 seconds behind the leader,” Marquez said.
“This year everything is really open and like we say, eight winners [in last eight races] so we need to keep like this and be fighting every free practice, qualifying and race for the top three.”
Asked during the pre-race press conference at Aragon if he will be satisfied with winning the world championship with only three victories this season, Marquez said his only priority is to wrap up the title.
“It doesn't matter. What I learned last year is that the people will remember who won the title, not who won more races or more podiums or whatever. In the end, my target is the title and I am working for this and the mentality is that if I need to finish fourth, like in Misano, I will do it. But if I can win and I have the chance to take a risk, I will do it too, like I did in Silverstone,” he said.
“We will see. It depends how I feel on the bike, how we can manage. Also, I have a small advantage that if I do some mistakes I'm still there in the championship. If the other riders make some mistakes then will lose many points and then they will be even further.”
Marquez is feeling upbeat over his prospects at Aragon this weekend, which he rates as one of his favourite circuits on the MotoGP calendar.
“In the last races we were struggling in some situations and on Sunday [at Misano] we were not able to be the fastest guy but even like this we lose not many points.
“We arrive here in Aragon [leading] by 43 points so we will try to manage well, to push from the beginning and this is one of my favourite tracks. We know that both Yamaha riders are in a good level but I'm happy with the situation so we will try to keep the same way.
“Always you want to push and be on top of the podium but sometimes you must realise on the bike that it is not possible. In Misano, I pushed hard from the beginning of the race and I was able to be the fastest guy for some laps but then I was struggling too much with the front tyre and I had some warnings, so I say, 'OK, stop – finish in fourth place'. My team-mate helped me a little bit because he won the race and in the end I was happy with the result. Here, we will try minimum to be on the podium,” Marquez added.
“Normally my speed here is not so bad but for some reasons – weather conditions or last year I did a mistake – on Sundays the results are not the best. We will try to change this at the weekend and try to finish well in Sunday's race.”
Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa tested a new Honda engine at Misano following the race, but the Spanish rider was staying tight-lipped on the 2017 motor.
“It was a really interesting test and we got a lot of information but I cannot give to you a lot of information because still we are trying to improve but I'm happy because the positive thing is that already we put a new engine on track before Valencia. It was a different feeling but for me, first time on the track, I was happy.
“Last year, one of the mistakes was that we arrive in Valencia with the new engine and then if we need to modify something there was not enough time.”