Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez admits he is riding on the limit as the MotoGP title race enters the final stretch.

Marquez qualified third fastest at Misano, 0.197s behind Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, with his prospects of claiming pole thwarted when he slid off in Q2 during his second run.

The reigning world champion says instability issues with his Honda have caused him problems this weekend, but Marquez is confident of his chances of challenging for victory on Sunday, regardless of the weather conditions.

“Of course I don’t want to crash but I prefer to find the limit like this, but it looks like for some reason on the bike it is a little bit more unstable and it is easier to crash – if you check this weekend, Cal [Crutchlow], Dani [Pedrosa] and me – two times! Anyway we will try to be on the bike on Sundays and that is the most important,” he said.

“It’s not an easy championship and I’m pushing my 100 per-cent like always but this championship is so tight and it looks like we are working well in a good way, but I am riding on the limit all the time and also it is a little bit my style.

“Apart from the crash, I’m really happy today because in FP3 I felt really good, maybe in FP4 with more temperature I struggled a little bit more, but tomorrow it looks like it will be colder conditions, so this will help me,” said Marquez.

“But even like this with the used tyres the rhythm was good and I believe I was ready to fight for the pole. With the first tyre I felt good, the second tyre also I was feeling also even better, but I touched the ‘red’ part and I was a little bit wide, but I expected the situation was under control. But after I touched the white line I lose the front. Apart from that, happy, I feel good with the bike and it looks like we have a similar pace compared with Maverick and Andrea [Dovizioso] and tomorrow will be a tight race.”

With Sunday’s forecast indicating the prospect of wet weather, Marquez says it will be crucial to avoid making any mistakes with so little separating the top three in the title battle.

“We are in a very good shape, Maverick is riding well, Andrea too, me too, so we are trying to give everything and it is normal in this part of the championship. Tomorrow it looks like the forecast is not the best one so we will need to adapt on the track conditions, to be smart, to be careful because a mistake can be a big problem for the championship,” he said.

“For me, the most important in my side is that yesterday with not so much grip I was fast, this morning on cold conditions I was OK and this afternoon also, so always I’m there. This gives me a good confidence but tomorrow will be a different day, a different race and we must concentrate.

“More or less I have everything clear and about the championship, like Andrea says it is too early, but the favourite one is him because he is leading. He is nine points in front of us and we will try to recover that small advantage.”

Sector three at the Marco Simoncelli Circuit has proven problematic for the Honda riders this weekend but Marquez says he will simply have to grin and bare it, with any improvement unlikely for the race.

“No, we will not improve a lot there. It’s a sector with fast corners and normally it is our weak point at the moment because the bike is shaking a lot. In the other hand when I am behind somebody it is much easier and then the difference is much smaller, but the rest of the circuit I am very fast and comfortable. The fast corners [when] I try to push more the bike becomes more unstable, so it is a sector that I need to pass and try to push in other places.”


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