Marc Marquez says he will prioritise securing a podium finish over gambling for victory at the Thailand MotoGP but with the chance to seal the riders’ world title he accepts finishing ahead of Andrea Dovizioso “will be much better”.

The Repsol Honda rider needs to outscore Dovizioso by just two points to wrap up the 2019 MotoGP world title this weekend in Buriram but has needed to fight through the pain barrier after suffering a heavy high-side crash during FP1.

After qualifying on the front row in third place, despite a low-side off at Turn 5 while pushing to improve his time, Marquez is anticipating a tough fight for victory against both Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales who start ahead of him on the first row plus main title rival Andrea Dovizioso who qualified in seventh place.

As a result, Marques says his primary target is to finish on the podium at the Chang International Circuit and ahead of Dovizioso with his title battle in mind.

“We are trying to manage the weekend like a normal weekend. We are working and pushing and trying to prepare for the race to have the chance to fight for the victory,” Marquez said. “But we know that these two guys will push a lot as one is looking for his first victory and the other wants to come back to the top of the podium. It is not our main goal.

“My main target is to try and stay on the podium one more time, one more Sunday and if it is in front of Dovi it will be much better.

“I am happy about the day and happy about the weekend. Unfortunately with the crash in FP1 today the body is quite painful but it is not a problem or an excuse for today or tomorrow. I can ride in a normal way which is the most important thing and we worked hard in FP4.

“Unfortunately in Q2 I crashed with the second tyre that was when I felt better but I knew that these two guys with new tyres they are very, very fast and I tried but it was not possible.

“Apart from that we prepared for the race in a good way and tomorrow it is time to concentrate well in the warm-up and the race distance is quite long, demanding physically, but we will try to do our best.”

Marquez says he’s still feeling the effects of his FP1 fall but is certain it isn’t impacting his performance while he was pleased to report his second fall of the weekend didn’t cause any lasting damage.

“When I woke up this morning getting out of bed was quite hard but then when the body is warm it is perfect, it is not any problem,” he said. “We will see tomorrow how is the weather, how is the condition and apart from these two guys I know that Dovi has a good pace so it will be a tough race.

“I had a shaking from Turn 4 and then when I arrived at Turn 5 the calipers were open and then I braked but I was not braking in the same way.

“I went into the corner with more speed and I knew but I realised it was the last lap and I was coming in the fastest lap so I tried anyway. I already understood when I was in the braking point that it was a big chance to crash.”

 

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