Marquez: “I play with the bike, I save mistakes, no pain”

Marc Marquez insists he is beginning to “enjoy” riding again as his physical strength builds back up.

The Repsol Honda rider qualified for the Thailand MotoGP in eighth - an error on the final corner, when he briefly lost the rear, cost him a potential challenge of pole-sitter Marco Bezzecchi.

Marquez shone last week at the Japanese MotoGP, qualifying on pole then finishing fourth, after missing eight races to undergo a fourth arm operation which had threatened his career.

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“I feel something more race by race, this is the most important thing,” he said after qualifying.

“My target when I came back was ‘extra limit’ and the test in Misano was ‘extra limit’. ‘Extra limit’ means the muscles are too weak but, step by step and race by race, I feel better and I control the bike better.

“[Friday] I felt better than [Saturday]. And I know that on [Sunday] I will feel worse than [Saturday].

“But I know that next week I will relax and will have taken another step. This is the target.

“I have started to play with the bike, to slide on the left corner, to shake the bike on braking points. For a long time I never did this.”

Marquez: "I did the perfect strategy"

Marc Marquez Thailand MotoGP. 1 October
Marc Marquez Thailand MotoGP. 1 October

He said about qualifying at Buriram: “I did the perfect strategy. It is difficult with only one tyre - with the first one, I did 30.5s. Then I put on a new one. But when we went out there were Ducati riders - they have the bike, they don’t need a slipstream!

“Then we started to play. I found a good lap. I came good, I came fast.

“But on the last turn there was a mistake, like in FP3.

“More or less the same mistake as Q2.

“We know what happened. Unlucky. We will fix it for [Sunday] but we couldn’t fix it for Q2.

“With two rear tyres you have more possibilities. 

“All weekend I was pushing in front - for a long time, I was not doing this.

“In FP2 I pushed in front of Fabio Quartararo and Francesco Bagnaia. In FP3 I pushed in front of Jack Miller.

“I was pushing and doing the laps alone.

“But the limit of the bike is the limit of the bike! If you want extra, I have to find a way to be faster.

“A smaller slipstream is always helpful.

“With one tyre you have only one chance. It was a good lap but I made a mistake.”

Can Marquez finish on the podium?

Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Thailand MotoGP, 1 October
Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Thailand MotoGP, 1 October

Marquez assessed his chances at the Thailand MotoGP: “On dry, I don’t feel bad. Not to finish on the podium because we are not ready. But I am enjoying it.

“The lap times are there. I am starting to enjoy it on the bike. I don’t have pain. I am saving some small mistakes at the front.

“If it’s wet everything is open. If it’s dry it is more useful for my physical condition.”

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