There are few certainties in life. But Marc Marquez easing to victory in Austin is surely one of them. The reigning world champion revealed a ‘special motivation’ led to a revised strategy, which resulted in his latest MotoGP romp to a first success in 2018 at the Circuit of the Americas.

Marquez arrived in Texas amid a cloud of controversy after a wayward showing in Argentina, where he accumulated three separate penalties in a little over 30 minutes, a situation which wasn’t eased by race direction demoting him from first to fourth on Sunday's grid after a further infringement.

The 25-year old was judged to have impeded rival Maverick Viñales during Saturday’s Q2 session, leading race direction to act swiftly. It was this series of events that led to Marquez’s change in approach on Sunday, he revealed, in which he assumed control on the first lap before building up an indomitable seven-second lead.

It was not a strategy he prefers, Marquez later said, but felt it was appropriate in the current climate. Before his final lap celebrations, which reduced his advantage to second-placed Viñales to 3.5 seconds, the Repsol Honda rider was on course to claim the biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP outing since May, 2016.

“Today was a different race,” said Marquez, fresh from his first triumph of 2018. “Since I get up this morning and since yesterday, my strategy was quite clear. I was working all the weekend for try to do this kind of race and push from the beginning until the end for try to open a gap.

“Today of course when I start fourth, then I say maybe I will change it, but I was able to lead the race in the first lap already and then just put three or four laps. When I see already a big gap, then I was able to manage the race. A long race, because there leading in the front is not what I like, but today I feel like this.

“Of course, this weekend I feel extra pressure and another motivation, but the motivation is related about I like to speak on the track. There is a way. So for that reason I tried to open a big gap today. That’s it.

“When I feel extra pressure I like it and I feel more comfortable. Sometimes is opposite, but this weekend was in a good way. That give me that extra push that in that change direction you need.”

To be nursing a lead of over seven seconds was a contrast to the spectacularly close fights for the lead witnessed in Qatar and Argentina, but Marquez was unperturbed. This wasn’t his easiest win in the USA, he said, but his feeling with Honda’s RC213V is “really sweet,” an omen for the rest of the field.

“No, this was not the easiest win, but is the first time that I approach in a different way the race. Normally every year I was waiting behind somebody and then attack at the end because then the race is shorter and I prefer.

“Honestly, after what happened in Argentina, today I changed my strategy and I tried to lead from the beginning and open the gap, because I feel in the practice that it was possible. Then I do. When I saw five seconds, then Viñales was there and then I pushed a little bit more. I increased to seven seconds and then I stayed there for just finish the race.

So which was the easiest win? “I don’t remember, but maybe 2014 in some tracks are easier than this one,” he said. “The most important is that now I feel really sweet with the bike and how is working the team.”

The result pushes Marquez up to second in the championship, where he sits just a point behind old rival Andrea Dovizioso, who struggled to get anywhere near the podium places all weekend.

“It’s important to come back in the top of the championship,” offered Marquez. “Second but fighting for the top after a zero in Argentina. But for me the most important is how I feel with the bike. The feeling is sweet. I’m enjoying a lot.

“But now the most important is see how it works in Europe. In Europe there are completely different tracks, narrow, smaller. We must maybe change the setup, but the base what we have now in this kind of circuit like today is working really good.”

 

 

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