Marc Marquez believes he can’t rule out Andrea Dovizioso in the fight for victory at the Spanish MotoGP along with his fellow front row starters Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli as the pair of Petronas Yamaha riders locked out the front top two places.

Marquez was unable to prevent an historic pole position for Quartararo, who becomes the youngest-ever MotoGP pole-sitter and takes the record off Marquez, as he had to settle for the final spot on the front row after failing to improve his time on his final lap.

The Repsol Honda rider was still content with his qualifying result but accepts both Petronas Yamaha riders will become the surprise front-running contenders in Jerez given their qualifying pace. Despite this, when asked to name his key rivals for victory at the Spanish round the reigning MotoGP world champion instantly picked points leader Dovizioso – who starts from fourth place on the grid.

“First of all I think Dovizioso has a really good pace, so he will be there,” Marquez said. “He has a lot of experience and he can manage different situations.

“Then of course Fabio and Franco, if they are in the front row then they need to be there. So they will be there too.

“They will be fast. But Jerez is a really long race. It’s 25 laps. It’s so difficult to keep concentration. Short circuit, narrow. We will try to be focused in our bike and in our performance because at the moment I feel ready to fight for the victory.”

Marquez also heaped praise on Quartararo for his maiden pole position in just his fourth MotoGP outing and expects him to become a star in the future.

“Fabio, when he arrived in Moto3, had a very good talent. I know him from Spanish championship. He had a really good performance,” Marquez said.

“Of course in the end he achieved many podiums, many victories. Of course, a world title always is difficult and always is more special, but already he beat one record that is the youngest pole man. So tomorrow I will try to stop him to don’t beat another record and be the youngest winner.

“He’s a guy that has a very good talent but during his career changed many, many things.

“For example, I was really lucky and I found a good atmosphere in all my group, my team and that was easier. He changed times and team and is a very young rider, but I believe that he has the talent because he already shown it.

“He will be fast in the future. It’s interesting because he’s riding the Yamaha in a very good way. It’s not an easy bike because the other two Yamaha factory riders are far from him today.”

 

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