Marc Marquez has warned his MotoGP rivals he had extra pace he resisted using on his way to a ninth consecutive victory at Sachsenring to see him extend his world championship lead to 46 points.

Despite dropping to third place into the first corner, Marquez made light work of getting back past Danilo Petrucci before measuring his pace against early leader Jorge Lorenzo in order to conserve his soft rear Michelin tyre.

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Having felt Lorenzo’s pace was dropping at the midway stage, Marquez moved past the factory Ducati rider up the inside at the final corner on lap 14 to take the lead which he never relinquished on his way to victory.

Being able to measure his race pace out front, the Repsol Honda rider was marginally slower compared to his 2017 victory – his race time was almost six seconds slower than last year – while last season he was pushed throughout the race by Jonas Folger in tricky conditions.

Marquez has explained with the chance to nurse his tyre life over the middle third of the race it prevented a late speed drop off and felt he had more pace in reserve if he came under more pressure from Rossi and the chasing pack.

“Everybody expected a big drop but in the warm-up and yesterday we improved the set-up a lot and the drop was there but it was consistent, like Assen,” Marquez said. “Honestly speaking at the end of the race I had something more, I didn’t feel the drop in this race.

“I just tried to manage the distance to me and Valentino but I had something there. It was not necessary to use.”

Marquez, who has extended his flawless run of pole positions and victories at Sachsenring to nine consecutive years counting back to 2010 during his 125cc days, also feels Repsol Honda’s improvements with his bike may have taken a layer of shine off its strengths but it has provided a more consistent package.

The defending MotoGP world champion has claimed victory at five of the opening nine rounds in 2018 compared to just two wins he achieved in the same stretch last year.

“The race pace in my case was slower because with last year’s bike we had very strong points and very weak points,” he said. “With this year’s bike we had strong points that are a little bit less and the weak points are much better.

“So from the beginning on Friday we struggled a little bit more than in other years because, if you see the other Hondas, they struggled. Dani is always very, very fast here.

“It looks like we are missing in some areas that we still need to improve but it looks like at other circuits, for example Le Mans or Assen, last year we were struggling a lot but this year we were much faster so we have found a compromise.”

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