Marc Marquez has been the exception to the rule amongst Honda’s MotoGP riders this season in the wet, putting his superior pace down to ‘belief’.

The defending world champion has been strong in all conditions on the RC213V in stark contrast to his Honda counterparts, who have largely struggled.

Marquez, who finished a close runner-up behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso at Motegi in Japan, said: “Why [fastest Honda rider in wet] I don’t know because last year our bike was working really good on wet, this year it is more critical but the lap time is coming for me.

“The last part of the brake point is where you need to believe on the bike – you need to release the brake and believe. It’s so scary in some points because it looks like you will have a high-side from the rear but you need to believe and we are working well, we find a good set-up and this is good. Every circuit we are fast on wet so I’m happy and it is important for the championship.”

Marquez tried all he could to clinch his third consecutive victory after wins at Misano and Aragon, but Dovizioso had enough in hand to pip the Repsol Honda rider in a thrilling finale at Motegi, reducing the gap at the top of the championship to just 11 points.

Visibility was a big issue in the rain and both riders struggled from the effects of heavy surface water throughout the race.

Marquez said: “The visibility was difficult and I was lucky that I start on the first row, but it was difficult to take the temperature with the tyre and when they passed me it was so difficult.

“I was leading the race and when Dovi passed me, even with one bike in front of me I lost many, many times the reference points in one lap and then it was difficult to come back. In the end you were moving your head during the straight because it was impossible to see.”

Marquez said he locked the front numerous times as he tried to negate the Ducati’s stronger stopping power, citing the Honda’s braking disadvantage as one of the bike’s main weak points.

“I locked. Honestly for example here in this circuit, Ducati was much stronger on the brake points and especially on the last part they we able to stop the bike before going in to the corner,” he said.

“I was going faster, not because I want to, but because I couldn’t stop the bike just from locking the front and then releasing the brakes. It is one of our weak points and for that reason it is difficult to ride the bike but if you get to that point, get the confidence, then it is coming better.

“For example in the last part of the race when the tyre dropped I lost that confidence because when I was going fast, the rear also was sliding a lot and for that reason I was not so fast like in the practice.”

Dovizioso had to fight his way through from the third row after qualifying ninth and was also troubled by the amount of spray kicked up by the riders ahead of him.

“It was quite difficult, also just with one rider, because in the straight the rider in front of you created a lot of water but for me, especially on the first three laps it was unbelievable, but this is normal,” said the Italian, who revealed he did not encounter the same front-end locking issues faced by Marquez.

“In the wet normally it is better not to check a lot because it is better to go in with your feeling. Most of the time with Michelin you lock more than what you feel. If you check the data it is not so nice to see that because it means you are really on the limit. On the wet I think we lock the front almost nothing but on the dry it happens many times.”



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