Marc Marquez went into Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP race having fallen five times in practice, and even tripped over in pitlane during warm-up.

Repsol Honda's reigning world champion admitted he had trouble sleeping after a nightmare four-falls on Saturday, and the race began with a bang when he was rammed from the side by Danilo Petrucci.

But Marquez kept his cool in searing heat and slippery conditions to finish runner-up to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, then made fun of his own mistake by pretending to fall on the podium.

"Really difficult weekend for us. Especially before the race for the mentality, because after five crashes it was not easy. Yesterday was hard, it was difficult to sleep at night.

"Then this morning I say 'ok, restart, today will be good'. But I just go out of the box, come back and then crash with the starter machine. Then I take the bike, go out and crash again. I said 'What's happening! I want to go home!'"

Marquez said it wasn't the fear of being hurt that was playing on his mind, but knew he would face scrutiny if he fell again in the race.

"Of course it's a dangerous sport, but I don't care about this. I care more about if I crash again in the race what you will will all write tomorrow!" he smiled. "But anyway I'm a strong guy, always believe in myself and this gave me the confidence to ride in the normal way in the race.

"My team also believe in me and said yesterday 'don't worry about the bikes, we can work all night to repair everything'. They convinced me that I'm the same Marc as [when I won] in Austin and that I need to keep pushing.

"So I never gave up. But then at the start of the race I had a big contact with Danilo! I say 'what's going on again?'

"After I calm down and control things. I thought that my team-mate Dani would be the man, the rider to beat today. But when I saw Dovi behind him I say 'ok, Dovi is the guy'.

"He was riding really good and what we were losing to him on the straight we were not able to gain in the corners, because the limit was on the tyres. Honestly, even with four crashes yesterday and one today, my target was victory.

"But when Dovi pushed, I tried to push hard for three laps, and then I say 'ok, I will crash again, so better to keep these 20 points'. We need to be positive because I believe if I didn't crash so many times yesterday, I would have crashed today.

"It's better to happen in practice and be inside the limit in the race."

Marquez finished 3.5s behind Dovizioso and almost the same margin ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa. Marquez then showed his sense of humour by mocking his earlier pit lane tumble on the podium.

"As you saw on the podium, I also laughed when I watched it. I say 'I'm stupid!' Looks stupid, but I didn't see [the starter] with my helmet own! I was not angry with the mechanics because it was my mistake. I was just focussed on the racetrack!"

Marquez's result moved him back ahead of team-mate Pedrosa for third in the world championship, and reduced the gap to title leader Maverick Vinales to 23 points, after the Yamaha rider struggled to tenth.

By Peter McLaren

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