Marc Marquez: “Wasn’t the usual Jorge Martin - what happened? I don’t dare say”

Marc Marquez noticed that Jorge Martin wasn’t his “usual” self at the Qatar MotoGP but hesitated to speculate why.

Pramac’s Martin blamed Michelin tyres for his lacklustre race which has ceded a 21-point advantage to Francesco Bagnaia heading into the final round.

Michelin promptly replied to deny that their tyres were the cause of his poor race.

Marquez, after his penultimate race with Repsol Honda, told DAZN: “It was difficult for me to keep up with the pace of those in front, then I put myself there with Martin all the time. 

“I was practically behind him the entire race.

"It's not that he suffered exaggeratedly but he didn't have much more.

"Simply, when you don't find yourself, you don't find yourself. 

"It wasn't the usual Martin. 

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“I have done many laps this year behind Martin, behind Pecco a few laps, the ones that lasted because they have always had a very high level and have gone much faster than us.

"Martín was suffering, he didn't turn in the same way, he didn't have the same speed, then he wasn't accelerating compared to the Ducatis that normally accelerate quite well. 

“It's not that he accelerated very well, then at top speed he did have it. 

“What happened? What hasn't been? I don't dare say that, but it is clear that he has lost many points for the championship.

"I don't dare say without seeing data if it is the tyre or what it is. 

“It can be a very good tyre but if you overheat it at the beginning of the race, it is no longer useful for the entire race.

"It may be a bad tyre, but if you take care of it at the beginning of the race you will have more at the end. 

“And it may be a good tyre, but if you increase the pressure because you have overheated it, the bike will not perform the same either.

"At the start I saw that he failed, but I don't dare say that it was the tyre, the rider, the team or the bike without knowing. 

“What is clear is that he has lost points and now he has to bring out his best version to try to win the two remaining races in Valencia. 

“And in this way have more possibilities to make [mistakes].”

The season-finale in Valencia is this weekend, and Bagnaia is red-hot favourite to retain his title despite Martin’s last-ditch opportunity. 

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