Marquez: ‘Quartararo has to take a real risk if he wants’ the title

Marc Marquez has warned Fabio Quartararo that he must take full risk at the Malaysian MotoGP if he wants to save his title defence.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Phillip Island
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha MotoGP Phillip Island

Marquez, a six-time MotoGP champion, has won titles in dominant fashion but also when the title fight has gone down to the wire.

And with just 14 points separating Francesco Bagnaia and Quartararo with two races remaining, there’s a good chance the title fight could go down to Valencia, although Bagnaia and Ducati are potentially the favourites heading into this weekend, making the chances of a title win very realistic at Sepang. 

Speaking about the title fight, Marquez said: "It is the first chance for Pecco and I think he has a big chance to do it here, but I will say this is the last chance for Fabio! He needs to react and as a champion he will react, I expect. Will be nice to see how they push during the weekend. 

"In Australia he took a risk. Here, he has to take a real risk if he wants to have a chance in Valencia."

Off the back of his first MotoGP podium in over a year, Marquez comes into the Malaysian Grand Prix looking to repeat the success of Phillip Island after finishing runner-up to Alex Rins.

However, the Repsol Honda rider is expecting somewhat of a reality check this weekend despite finding renewed motivation: "I took new motivation [from Australia] as I suffered at home but the team suffered at the track all season. 

"But it is true that here we will drop back to our real place. Already in Japan we saw some great results like the pole position, in Thailand fighting with the top guys and a podium in Australia. It means a lot and it’s important. My main target is to continue on that positive evolution."

Marquez will only know 2023 MotoGP potential in the winter break

Marc Marquez , Malaysian MotoGP, 20 October
Marc Marquez , Malaysian MotoGP, 20 October

While his form and results have been very impressive since making his return to action at Aragon, Marquez still believes any chance of joining the championship fight next season will be determined by his recovery in the winter break. 

When asked how the current version of himself compares to that of 2019 - his last title winning season - Marquez added: "It is a different one. Of course, I have some stronger points and some points where I’m still struggling a bit. 

"Now I try to use a bit more the experience, understand better the weekend and take the profit, the maximum of every situation. 

"I will understand my maximum level in the winter time. That is where I will understand if we are close now or if I have room for improvement."

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