Marc Marquez has talked up Honda’s decision to sign Jorge Lorenzo after the pair engaged in full combat during a vintage MotoGP encounter at the Red Bull Ring, and says there will be “no excuse” if the Majorcan beats him in Repsol colours.

The current championship leader narrowly came out second best in an exhilarating final three laps, after taking the fight to factory Ducati men Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso early into the eleventh round of the year.

Ultimately Marquez had no answer for Ducati's might in acceleration onto the three considerable straight-aways that make up the first half of the 2.8-mile Red Bull Ring. “Luckily next year he [Lorenzo] will be not with Ducati,” said Marquez. “And then no excuse.”

“Of course he has a really strong brake point. He’s braking late, but today I was able to brake later than him. I was very strong there. Of course also they have really good acceleration.

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“Luckily next year he will be not with Ducati and he will be with the same tools, and then no excuse. It will be good. I think that Honda did a good move because you catch a rider to our team that he can win with our bike, and he cannot win with another bike. Interesting to see him with the Honda. But sure, he will be fast.”

Having appeared frustrated by an inability to overcome the Ducati challenge on the final lap at Brno, Marquez insisted he was content with Sunday’s result in Austria – even if he lost out in a last lap fight with Lorenzo for the second race running.

Part of that, he said, was his strategy. Marquez set a blistering early pace to pull the field apart and, crucially, separate the factory Ducatis so he would only have one to fend off, rather than two. And it worked.

“Today in try,” said the 25-year old. “In Brno I didn’t try because I didn’t feel well and it was like a waste of time there because it was more chance to lose than to win, but today I try. I try to change my strategy.

“I try to push a lot from the beginning because the goal was try to arrive in the end with only one Ducati, because fight against Ducati I know that is quite difficult for us, but we achieve our goal that was just fight against one Ducati.

“I expect after the rhythms that it will be Dovi, but this time was Jorge. Even like this I was there, but I see immediately. I try because I need to try because I’m Marc, and I need to try. Every short straight he was able to overtake me, to be in parallel. Was really difficult to defend.

“But even like this I try. I try to lead the race in the last lap. He overtook me in the main straight, then I try in turn three. I lost the front two times. I go in too fast and I lose two times. I nearly crash and then I stay on the bike. I don’t know why, but I stayed there.

“He overtook me again on the acceleration outside because he carry more speed. But if he didn’t overtake me there, will overtake me between 8 and 9. But I try. I enjoy it a lot and happy because we increase the advantage in the championship.”

This was the fifth race in succession that Marquez walked away with an extended championship lead. Principle challenger Valentino Rossi made the most of a disastrous weekend for Yamaha by placing sixth, meaning the reigning world champion now enjoys a 59-point championship lead.

“I’m happy to have this advantage because both riders are very, very strong. I’m happy to lead the championship. Of course this is very, very long but in circuits that we suffer, we are there. This is the most important. Will arrive in other circuits better for our bike, for our riding style and there will time to attack and take 25 points.”