Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez starts this weekend's Malaysian MotoGP with a 33-point lead over Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, with just two rounds remaining...

Q: It's a big weekend coming up. Do you still feel the nerves and the excitement like when you were fighting for your first title?

Marc Marquez: It's a big weekend, a different weekend! In the end I will try to approach it the same and try to push 100%. But now there are only two races remaining. Of course I've opened up a big advantage, but you can lose it in the same way.

It's something that's inside my head and I will try to be with the same mentality, but then on Sunday we will try to manage to the risk. But I don't want to be focussed or stressed that I need to win here: I need to take points here and try to be champion here or Valencia. That has been the target since the first race.

Q: Not many people expected Andrea Dovizioso to be your main rival this year. What has it been like and what do you think of him as a rival?

Marc Marquez: Yeah you know, a different competitor. Different mentality. Especially the mentality of Dovi, it is something where I've learned many things from him. Because every rider, every opponent is different. With some weak points and some strong points. But Dovi was really quiet and was always doing his job.

For example - of course in Australia he did a few mistakes - but he never went outside of 'his style'. He kept his style, finished the race and did his 100%. It's something that he's been doing really good.

Q: Is it harder fighting for the championship with a new opponent?

Marc Marquez: The hardest thing is fighting with someone that doesn't have - I mean, he has pressure, but not the same pressure. Because if Dovi wins the championship; amazing season. If he finishes second; amazing season. For both Dovi and Ducati.

So it's hard because you can feel when you speak with journalists, with people. It's like you can lose the championship and he can only win. You know what I mean? It's something interesting and something you need to manage!

Q: Are you curious to see how your bike has changed since you were here in testing?

Marc Marquez: I'm curious to see because I think we have improved a lot, but already here in the pre-season I was not so bad. I was fast, good rhythm. But it's also one of the circuits where - for some years, for some reason - I'm struggling. So we will see this year if we are struggling or not.

We also have to decide if we start with the set-up base from the pre-season test, or the one we have been using now. The electronics have changed a lot, we improved a lot there. So it will be interesting to see during the weekend.

Q: Why do you struggle here? Is it certain parts of the track, your style…

Marc Marquez: It's maybe the style. A few years I did really good races, but it's like the hot conditions make everything a little bit more slippery and slow. And my aggressive style, sometimes is not working here. Because the grip is not so good and everything became like 'softer'. And then it's like I'm pushing too much the tyres and pushing too much the bike. So I need to be smooth.

Q: Do you have a prediction for the weekend?

Marc Marquez: You know the weather? Impossible to predict! Of course for me the main target is try to be on the podium. For me it doesn't matter who won, finished second, just be on the podium and focus in my box.



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