Marc Marquez details unusual and costly “big mistake” in Portimao

Marc Marquez explains his error which caused a crash on his first time attack lap


Despite a crash in qualifying which left him stranded on the third row, Marc Marquez clawed his way back up the order in the MotoGP sprint to claim a first podium with Ducati.

Second before a mistake at turn five, Marquez was pushed down to fourth before overtaking Jorge Martin on the final lap for second spot.

Asked if starting on the front two rows would have helped, Marquez was left unsure as he got a great start and thrust himself into contention straight away.

However, the eight-time world champion thinks missing out on the top two rows could be more important during the grand prix.

Marquez added: “You don’t know because the first lap was super and at one point of the race I was second behind Pecco.

“I did a mistake in turn five and Vinales did a super fast race. We were always in the [1m] 38s so that is amazing.

“Tomorrow, starting on the front row will be much better but we are starting on the third row. We need to be concentrating on that start to see where we can arrive.”

On the subject of why he crashed, Marquez lost the front-end of his Gresini Ducati on his first time attack lap.

Marquez unintentionally pushed the rear ride-height device down which is something you should only do when off gas, not when applying the throttle.

“Basically, you need to engage when you normally roll [off] the gas,” said Marquez. “It was a big mistake and it was a big mistake because I engaged it when I was still on the gas.

“That was the mistake. With all bikes this will happen. If you are on the gas and you touch the button it will engage the rear device. The thing is it was just a mistake.

“My mechanics said why did you push [the button] and I said ‘I pushed it. I pushed it and I didn’t expect that I would push too early.

“On the images it’s easy to see it drop and then I went in. but when I realised it dropped it was too late. It was a big mistake and one to learn from for the future.”

Marquez said about his sprint race performance: I’m super happy about the race because second place is another step in our process.

“But if we check overall, I always try to analyse everything and if we check a bit my Saturday, I made a big mistake in qualifying that cost me the chance to start on the first row.

“It was easy to be on the first or second row but starting on that third row penalised us a lot.

“But today we were able to be fast and we had the speed which is the most important from the weekend.

“We have more speed than in Qatar and this is helping me to overtake and to be more consistent.”

One of the big changes for Marquez this season is how comfortable he is riding alone.

So often his final years at Honda saw him wait for tow, but now Marquez actually prefers to rider the Ducati alone.

Marquez said: “The thing is I’m riding better alone than behind, which is the complete opposite to last year.

“Behind Martin I learned a bit on the last corner to lose a bit less. But the soft tyre I was struggling a bit more.

“Maybe tomorrow I can be a bit more consistent there. He was super strong especially on the brake point.

“He was struggling more in the end with the tyre life and I tried to take advantage.”

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