Marc Marquez is loath to compare himself to his fellow Spanish sporting greats after becoming a five-time MotoGP world champion.

The Repsol Honda rider was speaking after clinching pole for the Australian round of the championship for the fifth successive year at Phillip Island.

Marquez, who has won seven Grand Prix world titles in all, says he has no wish to analyse his standing among Spain’s top sports stars such as Seve Ballesteros and Rafael Nadal until the end of his career.

“I don’t want to compare with these names because in the end, I will compare when I will retire. Still I hope that I have a long life and many years in front,” he said.

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“I will try to keep this level but the last thing I want to do is realise what I am doing and compare my name with these kind of legends because I want to keep the same mentality.”

Marquez secured the premier class crown for the third year in a row at Motegi in Japan last weekend but he says he has approached this weekend with the same mentality.

“I’m feeling exactly like another weekend and I would like to feel even better with the bike because I struggle a little bit all weekend, but I am just pushing like always and I crashed like (I do) in many races. I am just trying to work for the race and I’m feeling good,” said the Spaniard, who sealed pole with a lap in 1m 29.199s during a nervous Q2, which saw drops of rain falling around the circuit.

“It was difficult to understand the way to push with the bike because we are riding at 200 kph in nearly all the lap and it is scary when you see some drops on your visor, but apart from that I tried to find the good lap and it was in the third run.

“Then I already see ’29.1 was a really fast lap and with the second tyre I felt not so bad when I go out from the box, but then I see a small drop and it was raining a little bit, so I say I will not take the risk and we will see if somebody improves. During this weekend we see many crashes and here it is easy to get injured.”

Marquez has made steady progress with the Honda throughout free practice and qualifying but the world champion is wary of the threat posed by Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone – fourth on the grid –who has demonstrated strong race pace.

“For some reason all Hondas struggle here, but then we start to do a really good job with the team and step by step we improved our feeling. Now, it looks like I am very close to the race pace with the others, but there is one rider – (Andrea) Iannone – who is faster than everybody, but tomorrow in the race we will see,” said Marquez.

“It will be interesting to check the best rear tyre and apart from that, Phillip Island is a long race, difficult, and you need to concentrate on the temperature of the tyre – especially the front one – and we need to try and manage in the right way and fight for the podium.”

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