Marc Marquez has no plans to approach Sunday's race at Aragon with the aim of protecting his championship advantage and instead has vowed to 'take the same risks as always'.
Marquez leads Valentino Rossi by 43 points with five rounds of the MotoGP World Championship remaining and is adamant that if he feels the opportunity is there to push for victory, he will step forward and grasp it with both hands.
The Repsol Honda rider, second fastest behind team-mate Dani Pedrosa during free practice at the Spanish circuit on Friday, said: “In the end, I will take the same risks like in all the races. You might feel on Sunday ready to fight for second place, victory or podium. I will do my 100 per-cent and if I have a feeling to take a risk like Silverstone I will do, or if I have a feeling to be more safe like at Misano, I will do – it doesn't matter.
“I already did a mistake last year at this circuit because I pushed too mush in the beginning and I crashed in the first lap. We must be calm but of course there is extra motivation and it's a circuit that I like, but I can understand also that for one race we cannot throw away our championship.”
Marquez already expects rear tyre selection to be key to winning Sunday's race due to the rapid level of degradation. The double premier class champion focused on the hard Michelin on Friday and was experiencing significant drop-off after only a handful of laps.
“About the rear, I think that [will be crucial] in the race. The front tyre I think will also be different options for the riders, but the rear tyre will be the key for the race because it drops a lot. After three laps, five laps, it started to drop and it slide a lot, event when I concentrated with the hard. We will need to re-check the soft rear but it will be difficult to finish the race in a good pace,” he said.
“At the moment, the asymmetric [front] I didn't try. It is something we are thinking we will try tomorrow. At the moment I tried the two medium compounds and they are working not so bad.”
With the benefit of 13 races on Michelin tyres this season under his belt, Marquez was asked for his thoughts on how the tyres compared to the Bridgestones used in previous seasons.
“It is a different manufacturer with Michelin and it is difficult to compare but Bridgestone were more focused on the front tyre: it was really stable and you were pushing a lot in the entry. Michelin has done amazing work with the front and now it is stronger, but of course it is not the same.
“The rear tyre is better and if the rear tyre is better, it is pushing to the front, then it is more critical – the front. Of course, always we try to improve the front feel, more grip, and we are asking for more and more. But in the end there is a limit there and now we are in a good level. The only thing is that from one circuit to the other one, it's changing a lot – the feeling with the bike and with the tyres,” Marquez added.
“You must work harder with your team and like I say yesterday, maybe in some circuits you can win by 10 seconds because you feel well with the tyres, but in another circuit you can be fifth and struggling a lot.”
A number of riders were caught out at Turn 2 during free practice, with Pol and Aleix Espargaro, Sam Lowes and Eugene Laverty among the fallers.
Marquez revealed he too had a moment at the same corner but said it was difficult to understand why the corner – where he crashed during the race in 2014– was proving so problematic.
“Yes, [I crashed in] 2014 in the race when we did a little slip. Today, honestly there I had a warning and I saved the crash – not a big save but I lost the front. It's a difficult point and always in some circuits there are difficult points and here in Aragon, with this Turn 2, most of the crashes are there.
“It looks like you must be careful and you must understand, especially when you go out from the box, but in the end you need to push and as soon as you push more and more, it's more risk. To understand, it is difficult because it's the kind of crash that you go in, and then when you crash you are in the gravel and you don't understand nothing. This year I crashed a couple of times like this: at Silverstone, Montmelo and yes, it's so difficult to understand and control well.”