Marquez on Martin’s method: “Unsportsmanlike? It was within the regulations”

Marc Marquez insisted that Jorge Martin’s tactics to distress Francesco Bagnaia were “within the regulations” even if critics think it is “unsportsmanlike”.
Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
Marc Marquez, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November

Martin followed Bagnaia during Friday practice at the Valencia MotoGP, annoying Ducati’s Davide Tardozzi and ultimately forcing the reigning champion to enter Q1 on Saturday.

Bagnaia has a 21-point lead over Martin at the top of the standings entering the final sprint race of the year, but was only 13th fastest on Friday while his challenger for the title was third.

Marquez, no stranger to mind games and controversial tactics during practice sessions, told Marca: “Olé  for Martín and that's it. It's within the regulations, it's within the limit. 

“Some will say: 'No, it's unsportsmanlike.' 

Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martin, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November

“To win a championship you have to make a living no matter what. 

“And Martin, this weekend, is behind. What he has to do is try to destabilise Pecco in any way he can, within the limit and within the regulations and that is what he has done. 

“And that's what he did, or they tell me what he did, because I haven't seen it, but they told me

It turned out well, he achieved it. 

“Tomorrow Pecco has extra work. In the races, he'll have to do the same. We'll see how he handles it, but, in the end, this is motorcycling. Some like it, and some don't like it, too."

Can Marquez end Honda career with a podium?

Marquez is competing for Honda for the final time before joining Gresini Ducati in 2024.

He was seventh-fastest on Friday, an impressive feat given his sub-par bike.

“A podium? If tomorrow morning was the race, yes,” he pondered. 

“And with the pace we have seen this afternoon, a top five is possible.

“But I predict that tomorrow everyone will start to go faster. 

“For example, in the first free practice the differences with the others were great. Then it got much tighter and tomorrow, even tighter, because people are reaching the limit. 

“I have always had the ability to reach the limit very quickly and that is what I have done in the first free practice and in practice, from the beginning, but then I have stayed there. “Everything will depend on the result of the qualifying session. 

"If we have a good Q2 and maintain the pace and intensity that we have maintained today, and the confidence, we will see if we can achieve a better result than in the last races."

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