Marc Marquez was feeling no lasting effects of the sickness that kept him out of FP2 as he qualified fourth for the Malaysian Grand Prix and talked up his chances of a podium challenge – and possibly more – on Sunday.
The recently crowned world champion was suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis in the week leading up to the penultimate grand prix of the season, but said his condition was “much better” on Saturday.
Although the 23-year old took a set-up gamble in Q2 which didn't pay off, he was content with fourth and feels, come rain or shine, he can be in the mix through the 20-lap MotoGP race.
“Today was a difficult day,” said Marquez. “First of all I felt much better than yesterday so this is the most important thing for me. In FP4 I felt OK. Then in the qualifying we tried to improve the set-up.
“We say that we'll take the risk for the qualifying because if the race tomorrow is in wet conditions we need to know which set-up we need to follow. We take the risk.
“We change the set-up and I felt worse. So for tomorrow we need to come back. Anyway in FP4 I felt strong and in the quali we are on the second row which is not a disaster.
“Physically I don't feel 100 percent, of course but much better. I'm drinking a lot of water. Maybe today I've drunk four litres, I don't know. I feel much better and tomorrow the doctors say I will be even better.
“A dry race is much better for the show, for the spectators. A wet race here, the grip is really, really good but always it's difficult to understand if it's getting drier. But the positive thing is that I feel OK in both conditions.”
Pressed on the possible protagonists that could challenge him for another 25-point haul, Marquez offered, “Victory, I don't know because in dry conditions I was strong on one lap.
“But we need to understand how is the rhythm of the others and how is the tyres. Nobody knows I think. We need to check also the temperature, which front tyre, and which rear tyre. I think for the podium we can fight. For the victory, I don't know. I will try.”