Marc Marquez says he drastically altered his race strategy after seeing Andrea Dovizioso crash out at Le Mans with the reigning MotoGP world champion extending his points lead with a third consecutive victory.

The Repsol Honda rider picked the Italian Ducati rider as the rival with “something more” in terms of  “a special pace” after practice and qualifying at the French round and admitted he made a clear plan to keep check of Dovizioso’s position and pace during the opening laps.

Marquez was the only rider to opt for the hard rear tyre which he knew would prove tricky for the opening laps while getting it up to the correct temperature while he expected Dovizioso to look to push ahead during the early stages.

But once Marquez saw Dovizioso tumble out of the race, crashing at Turn 6 on the fifth lap having just passed teammate Jorge Lorenzo to take the lead, the Honda rider was confident he could stick to his own plan to carve up the order to storm to victory.

“Before the race in the warm-up we were together for a few laps and we understood Dovizioso had something more, or we were very equal, and for that reason and the tyre choice it was maybe his strategy to push at the beginning,” Marquez said. “He was pushing a lot, more than normal, normally Dovi pushes at the beginning but then stays there to manage the tyres before pushing again at the end.

Le Mans MotoGP - 5 unforgettable Moments

“He tried to lead the race immediately because he knew that I was coming when the tyre had the correct temperature. I was looking for him because he was the guy during the whole weekend who had a special pace.

“When he crashed my approach of the race changed a little bit and then I was more calm and I took more time as I saw that the front tyre was so critical.

“I changed my approach after as it made everything easier. Danilo was fast and Dovi was a little bit faster than Danilo. When I crash it is because someone is pushing me. He crashed because the others pushing him.”

Marquez felt his tyre choice was also critical to ensure his pace was strong across a race distance as he was able to respond to Petrucci’s late challenge to win by three seconds.

“I was the only rider with the hard rear but this morning I felt really good and I think that was the key for the race,” he said. “I was able to keep a good and constant pace.

“We must be happy because I am living in a sweet moment between my bike and me and this is the most important thing.”

Marquez, who has claimed his first win at Le Mans since 2014, has pulled out his MotoGP championship lead to 36 points over nearest challenger Maverick Vinales while Dovizioso is down in ninth place and 49 points off of the Repsol Honda rider.