Marc Marquez: “That’s how we have to do it…”

After the four Hondas had been left bottom of the timesheets in opening Qatar MotoGP practice, Marc Marquez managed to snatch an unlikely top ten place for direct Q2 access in the evening.
Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November
Francesco Bagnaia, Marc Marquez, Qatar MotoGP, 17 November

Once again, the Spaniard had to rely on a tow, this time behind reigning world champion and title leader Francesco Bagnaia.

Marquez spent several runs in the slipstream of the Ducati and, although he lost his best lap to yellow flags, kept hold of tenth place by just 0.014s.

“It was a better day than we were expecting when we arrived here,” said Marquez. “To be inside the top ten and into Q2 straight away is really good news for us in the garage. I was able to find a good lap time behind Pecco because that’s how we have to do it.

“Tomorrow we will try to keep this position and understand how the track evolves before and during the Sprint. We need to look at what the best tyre will be for the time attack and keep adapting as the track changes. For the moment we can be content with what we have done.”

Team-mate Joan Mir mimicked Marquez’s towing tactic by leaving the pits behind Bagnaia.

Mir’s best lap was also cancelled by yellow flags but it wouldn’t have been enough to stay in the top ten anyway and he finished the day just 17th.

“A bit of a difficult day for us because the conditions from the morning to the night changed a lot, not just the temperature but also the track,” said Mir. “We struggled in the morning and then in the evening the feeling with the first tyre wasn’t so good.

“This meant I had to go with a lap time from the medium which doesn’t have the same speed as the soft, which was probably a low 53 in the last minutes of the session. We have good information for tomorrow so we can start from a better base.”

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