Marc Marquez says Fabio Quartararo has become the unexpected package this season by riding his Petronas Yamaha with a similar style to Jorge Lorenzo during his time at the Japanese manufacturer.

The Repsol Honda rider fought against his current team-mate when he first joined the premier class in 2013 with Lorenzo remaining at Yamaha until the end of 2016 before his two-year switch to Ducati.

Lorenzo, who won three world titles with Yamaha including beating Marquez in 2015, famously used a flowing and high corner speed style with the YZR-M1 which Quartararo has reminded Marquez of during their battles this season.

Marquez beat the MotoGP rookie in another last-lap duel to win the Thailand MotoGP, in a repeat of their fight at Misano when the Spaniard stalked his rival for the entire race, and secured the 2019 world title in style by denying Quartararo his maiden premier class victory.

The 26-year-old has been unexpectedly impressed by his new rival’s progress this season and feels he’s getting the most out of the Yamaha package through his riding style.

“Fabio is riding the Yamaha in a very good way. I have some memories from the past and he has a similar riding style to Jorge when he was in the best level at Yamaha,” Marquez said. “He is riding a Yamaha and is using all of the track.

“He managed the race well and today he was very, very fast during all the race but of course we have some strong points, which is the engine at the moment, but they have other strong points which is the rear grip.

“In Sectors 3 and 4 it was impossible with our bike to follow them but he is improving a lot and he will be one of the main contenders next year.”

Marquez says he had to risk pushing his Repsol Honda “at the maximum” midway through the race when Quartararo began to pull out a gap at the front as the pair traded new fastest lap records at the Chang International Circuit.

“There was a moment in the race when I was 0.7s or 0.8s, close to 1 second, behind him and so I said if he doesn’t slow down it would be impossible [to win],” he said. “But then when I did my fastest lap I felt I could either give up or try, so I tried for two laps at the maximum and if I push these laps I will be ready to win the race.

“That is what I did, I pushed for two laps and made the fastest lap there, so I said now it is time to relax and cool down as I was on the limit with the front.

“Today we have taken profit from our engine in the two main straights up then in Sectors 3 and 4 he was much faster because when you have torque you lose grip and when you have grip you lose torque. So this is a compromise and we managed it in the best way.”

 

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