Marc Marquez took some time to celebrate his third MotoGP world title at Motegi but the Repsol Honda rider is now focused only on this weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Marquez became a five-time world champion in Japan after securing the premier class crown with a dominant win as Movistar Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo both dramatically slid out.
With the title safely in the bag, 23-year-old Marquez says the achievement has now sunk in and he has put any further title celebrations on ice until after the championship finale at Valencia in Spain in November.
“Now the feeling is amazing, I feel much more relaxed and I already said that I didn't expect to win the title,” he said.
“It was difficult to realise because nobody expected it, I think, and the race was so strange. There still remains three races and now we will enjoy this last part of the championship and everything is perfect. Now, we are ready to come back because we were 'flying' on Sunday and now everything is fine, also my voice because after the party it was very difficult! Now it has come back and I am ready to be concentrated in this weekend.
“It was so good because the team also was so excited because they worked really hard this season and they deserve this kind of result,” Marquez added. “Also [to win the title] at Honda's home circuit – you can imagine the Japanese staff were very happy.”
Marquez came out on top in a sensational MotoGP race last year at Phillip Island following a four-way tussle involving Rossi, Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone. It was one of the standout races of the 2015 season and the Spaniard is hoping for a repeat on Sunday at Phillip Island.
“It is one of my favourite circuits and we enjoy it a lot. I remember that last year it was an amazing race on Sunday, battling with Andrea, Valentino and with Jorge and in the end we won the race,” he said.
“We will try to repeat this kind of race and result but I know that will be difficult. The forecast looks unstable but also both Yamaha riders and [Maverick] Vinales are very fast.”
Asked during the pre-race press conference on Wednesday how he spent the few days immediately following his title triumph, Marquez said he took some time to enjoy the moment before refocusing on this weekend's race.
“Sunday night we partied, Monday we sleep. Then we fly to Melbourne and say there one day and we spent some money on the casino with Jack [Miller] – I won, because I put everything on red!” he said.
“But nothing really special because in the end we celebrate, but my mentality is that I cannot forget that I have another race this weekend. I must be concentrated and we will have time to celebrate in the winter time.”
Marquez is joined in the Repsol Honda team in Australia by 2006 champion Nicky Hayden, who has been called in to replace the injured Dani Pedrosa. The new MotoGP world champion says it is 'special' to have the American as his team-mate after recalling a meeting with Hayden and Pedrosa when he was a young 15-year-old prospect.
“Of course it is really special because Nicky and Dani both will always be special, I will always have special feelings for them,” said Marquez.
“I remember that I was a kid and on the first presentation with the Repsol team they were the big guys. I remember that it was my birthday and they give me a cake, so it will be really special. When I saw that famous picture when I was 15 years old, it's amazing, it is really nice.”