After 'letting his riding do the talking' with a sixth successive MotoGP win in Austin, Marc Marquez arrives for the first of his home Spanish rounds - at Jerez this weekend - just one-point shy of Andrea Dovizioso and the world championship lead.

Under pressure after the Argentina controversy, then demoted from pole to fourth on the COTA grid after obstructing Maverick Vinales in qualifying, Marquez steamrolled the competition in the race.

"It was a different MotoGP race," he said. "My strategy was quite clear and I was working all weekend to try to do this kind of race; push from the beginning until the end to try to open a gap."

Marquez's Jerez record may not be a match for his perfect Austin run, but the reigning champion has been on the podium in all five previous premier-class appearances at the official Spanish Grand Prix, including a win in 2014.

“We arrive in Spain following a great weekend and a great result in Texas, but now a new phase begins in Europe, where we’ll see the level of every team and rider," Marquez said.

"Here, the circuits are generally different and more ‘traditional,’ starting with Jerez, which is a tighter, slower, and more difficult track than the ones like Austin. We had a good setup there, and now it will be important to also find a good base for circuits like Jerez."

Jerez has been resurfaced since last year's race, with all manufacturers barring Yamaha holding private tests to understand the new asphalt. In Repsol Honda's case, a one-day test took place on March 26.

"We had a good test there at the end of March, and we’ll approach it with a positive mentality," Marquez said. "Racing in front of my home crowd and my fan club will of course add to the good feeling and atmosphere.

"We’ll keep working hard and focusing on consistency, which is a crucial point for the title chase; I think Dovi will be a great rival, as he was last year.

"Anyway, this year I feel really good on the bike: In Qatar, Argentina, and Austin, the confidence was always there, and that’s the most important thing. We’re just one point behind in the championship, so we must continue this way.”

After a brave ride to seventh in Austin, team-mate Dani Pedrosa's main concern is the strength of the right wrist he fractured in Argentina.

“I’m looking forward to the next race, in Jerez. Finally we get to Europe. I’ve had one more week for my wrist to recover, and hopefully that will help with my riding," he said. "It was important to get some points in the last race, and once again we’ll try our best at Jerez.

"Hopefully on Friday there will be less pain in my hand, and the strength will be good enough to ride in the best possible conditions at a track that I like very much, surrounded by all my fans.”

While Marquez has signed with Honda until the end of 2020, Pedrosa is yet to sign amid rumours that HRC is also weighing up other options.

Along with the recent Grand Prix of the Americas, Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix will be the second event this season to be shortened in length, from 27 laps to 25.

The Jerez circuit will be renamed in honour of Ángel Nieto on Thursday.



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