Marc Marquez: Gigi and Honda? “I won’t speak about ‘if, if, if…’”

Marc Marquez decided the best form of defence was attack during Sunday’s Thai MotoGP at Buriram.

A surprise fourth in the Sprint, the Repsol Honda rider soon became embroiled in some ‘intense’ early battles, including banging fairings with Aleix Espargaro, the rider he passed on the last corner of the Sprint.

Marquez had dropped to eighth by the middle stages of the grand prix before reigniting his 2019 victory duel with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo for sixth.

This time, the Frenchman prevailed by less than a second, but both were then moved up a place when Espargaro was demoted from fifth for a (second) breach of the tyre pressure regulations.


Meanwhile, five seconds ahead, Ducati won for the 14th time in 17 MotoGP races courtesy of Jorge Martin.

Ducati’s technical guru Gigi Dall’Igna recently confirmed he turned down an approach from Honda. But if he had accepted, might Marquez have reconsidered his exit from Repsol Honda to join to Gresini Ducati next season?

“I don’t know if it was possible or not,” Marquez replied. “The [Gresini] decision is made. So I won’t speak about ‘if, if, if’.

“Now, as you see, I am more free. I am just riding the bike, I don’t care about anything. I am just looking to keep the intensity of these last races so when I go to the new project, I will have the pace.

“Enough [pace]? I don’t know. But at least I will be ready.”

Quizzed on the obvious intensity he had shown on Sunday, Marquez added:

“Yeah today I went out and I was, as we say in Spanish, ‘warm’ ['up for it']. I tried to attack in the beginning. I realised immediately, if I am not attacking, every time I go into Turn 1-3, one bike would overtake me.

“So then I said ‘The best way to defend is to attack’. And I started to attack. The way to attack with our bike is in the braking points. I was braking late at Turn 5, Turn 11 and 12. But it was not enough.

“[In the battle with Aleix] we lost one-and-a-half seconds in one lap! Then he had more pace. Especially with the hard rear tyre. Yesterday I beat him, today he beat me!

“As every weekend with the hard rear tyre, it’s more constant but we are struggling with performance. We are dropping performance. The difference in time, the way to ride is different.

“Then in the end when Fabio overtook me, I was able to catch him, but I was overriding too much. It was important to finish the race so I stayed calm.”


The ’93 revealed he had come close to joining brother Alex in gambling on the medium rear tyre.

“Yesterday with the sprint race, we saw the tyre consumption was super high," he said. "Today, it’s true that I was thinking a lot, about choosing the aggressive option, the softer [medium] rear tyre.

“And maybe it was okay, I don’t know. But then I chose the same as everybody and tried to control it myself all the race. I was looking for a stable weekend and we achieved it."

The next best Honda rider was Joan Mir in twelfth.

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