Marc Marquez says he opted not to take any serious risks to secure a conservative podium finish in order to extend his MotoGP world championship lead to 49 points.

The Repsol Honda rider saw his MotoGP victory run ended at the Czech Republic round following back-to-back wins before the summer break to take a tight grip on the championship standings at the midway stage.

Marquez says he struggled to match the outright speed of the factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, suffering with a lack of acceleration and top speed with his Honda, but was content with third place ahead of nearest title challenger Valentino Rossi who could only manage fourth place for Movistar Yamaha.

The reigning MotoGP world champion says the slower race pace played to his benefit in order to lower his risks challenging the Ducati duo but concedes he chose not to be ‘crazy’ and threaten a certain podium.

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“During the race I felt quite good, I felt strong with the bike and the speed was good,” Marquez said. “The problem arrived when I was fighting against two Ducati riders because they have a really strong acceleration. More than the acceleration is the top speed and then a really strong brake point.

“It was so difficult to overtake them but we tried but by not being crazy. The good thing was that Valentino was already behind so my main target was try to increase the advantage in the championship on him.

“We know that Andrea has gained some points, so has Jorge, but they are still 68 points behind me. So we are on our way. I am happy with this one as this is a circuit that I struggle a little bit at every year. We’ve finished so close to the victory so this is the best point.”

Marquez says his race strategy was primarily dictated with the MotoGP title picture, having extended his points lead to the value of almost two race wins, but is eager to find further development gains in order to strengthen his challenge at all circuits.

“I was able to be a little bit faster but with more risk. I saw the pace was slow but for me it was not a problem because my target is to finish all the races,” he said. “So the worst race of the year but I finished so this is positive.

“This weekend was one of the toughest ones but we are working for that reason. Like I said tomorrow we are working on some things [Brno hosts a one-day in-season MotoGP test on Monday] because we know which areas we are losing a little bit.

“Today I followed a lot of times the Ducati riders and they have a very strong top speed which at this circuit is very important.”

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