Marc Marquez says despite losing out to Andrea Dovizioso for victory at the 2018 MotoGP season opener in Qatar his second place “feels like a win” at a circuit the Repsol Honda rider describes as one of his worst on the calendar.

After following Dovizioso past early leader Johann Zarco heading into the closing stages, the reigning MotoGP world champion reeled in the Ducati rider for a final lap fight and in a similar strategy to his 2017 duels with the Italian in the Austrian and Japanese races a daring last corner lunge ultimately failed to wrestle victory from his rival.

While admitting the move was a risk he had to take otherwise he "wouldn’t have slept well tonight”, Marquez takes comfort from his best result in Qatar since his victory in 2014 as he feels the Losail International Circuit doesn’t suit him and the Repsol Honda.

“I am really happy to finish in second place at this track because it is one of the most difficult ones for me on the calendar,” Marquez said. “It looks like we’ve started this season like we finished last year – déjà vu – at the last corner with Andrea going in, going wide, he goes in and he wins the race. I hope in the future this will change.

“I knew that I was on the limit, I tried and now I can sleep well. I wouldn’t have slept well tonight if I didn’t try and 20 points is still nice.

“I am very, very happy because today he deserved the victory as he was faster than us but my target was to try to control him because he was the fastest one. I was on the limit and I was sliding around the track but was able to try to pass at the last corner. I am happy with that and happy for these 20 points.”


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