Marc Marquez may have looked in complete control on his way to victory at the Japanese MotoGP but he has admitted he was on the edge with his fuel consumption – having stopped on the cooldown lap for the second time this season.

The Repsol Honda rider stopped on track after claiming his 10th win of the season at Motegi as he ran out of fuel on the cooldown lap at the end of the race and was given a push back to the pits by Red Bull Tech3 KTM’s Hafizh Syahrin.

It marks the second time this season Marquez has emptied the fuel tank of his Honda, having also stopped after crossing the finish line at the British round.

The newly-crowned 2019 MotoGP champion, who equalled Mick Doohan’s premier class wins tally with his 54th victory this weekend, revealed the fuel warning light came on halfway around his penultimate lap meaning he had to ease off to ensure he could reach the chequered flag.

“We calculated with the team a pace that was a low 1m 46s but then I was able to ride in the high 1m 45s, but the high 1m 45s was good news but it was not good news for fuel consumption,” Marquez said. “It is then when I slowed down a little bit because I knew I would not finish the race otherwise.

“So I slowed down and tried to work and find the best way to ride smooth and then I was able to open a gap so I stayed there, two seconds, ahead but with one-and-a-half laps to go the fuel alarm was there on the dashboard.

“When the fuel alarm appears it means I have three laps remaining so it the gap was one-and-a-half seconds so I could slow down but not a lot as they were coming for me. Then I tried to manage in a good way and in the end I passed the finish line after seven corners the bike stopped.”

Despite the fuel scare, Marquez’s victory duly sealed the MotoGP world constructors’ championship for Honda at its home round to complete part two of the Triple Crown.

With the final target this season being the MotoGP teams’ world title, which Repsol Honda trails the factory Ducati squad by 17 points, Marquez accepts it will pose a greater challenge over the final three rounds given he’s effectively fighting on his own with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo failing to finish inside the points for the third consecutive race.

“It will be difficult because Petrucci and Dovi are very constant but for the team and for Jorge we hope the best for him and maybe he can improve,” Marquez said. “It looks like he is trying to find the way. We hope the best for him and this will help achieve the teams’ championship.

“When I met the President this morning, straightway it was ‘good morning, I want the constructors’ championship today’, so I said ‘okay don’t worry’!

“I had the pressure last weekend in Thailand and now again here but I like the pressure. They deserve it because they are working very hard all the Repsol Honda team and HRC all through the season so now the constructors’ is done so we have this championship.

“It will be a little bit difficult for the teams championship but we will try.”

 

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