Marc Marquez leads, falls twice, 'angry with myself'

Marc Marquez leads a MotoGP race for the first time since Jerez 2020, but is left to rue a missed opportunity after falling twice.
Marc Marquez, French MotoGP race, 16 May 2021
Marc Marquez, French MotoGP race, 16 May 2021
© Gold and Goose

After battling with a lack of strength in his healing arm at the two previous races of his MotoGP comeback, Marc Marquez snatched the lead of Sunday's French MotoGP from Fabio Quartararo as rain sent riders diving into the pits for wet bikes on lap 5 of 27.

It was the first time Marquez had led a MotoGP race since July 2020 at Jerez, where he had first fractured his right arm, and it put him on course to potentially prevent Honda's longest-ever losing streak since returning to the premier-class in 1982.

But Marquez, winner of MotoGP's previous flag-to-flag race at Brno 2017, lasted just three laps at the front before being flipped into a highside at the final corner.

Springing to his feet and re-joining the action in 18th, the Repsol Honda rider then climbed to swiftly to eleventh place before crashing for a final time, with ten laps to go.

It was that second mistake, rather than losing the race lead, that left Marquez 'angry with himself'.

"Obviously today we didn’t take the opportunity that the weather gave to us and I'm disappointed about this," Marquez said.

"I knew if I was patient in the first 3-4 laps then it would be a good race for me. But anyway I crashed when I didn't expect, obviously. I was not pushing a lot but anyway it was like this.

"It was quite difficult to get temperature in the rear tyre, especially on entry to the corners, off the gas and brakes, just I missed the rear where I didn't expect. This first crash can happen and many riders crashed today.

"The good thing was that I got back on the bike and I was the fastest guy on the track, but I'm angry with myself because the second crash was not necessary.

"This was my fault and I was not able to control myself. I was not full concentrated, I was riding fast, maybe too fast. I didn't know that the front riders were riding slower than me after the first crash.

"Just I was thinking about the arm and about other things, because on that lap I just informed my team that I was going into the box to change to slicks because the track was ready, I believe.

"Anyway, for that reason I'm disappointed with the second crash.

"But the good thing is that this weekend we showed, in damp conditions, when I don’t have the limitation of the physical condition the speed is there.

"It's true that I did a mistake but it's part of the comeback. Today I felt the opportunity, I tried to be there but maybe I pushed too much and I was too fast.

"Checking now the pace of all the riders, riding much slower the race was there.

"But we didn’t use the opportunity that the weather brought me.

"Now it's time to go home, analyse this weekend, try to continue with the recovery and let's wait for the next races to feel better."

Following Marc's exit, younger brother Alex went on to finish as the top RCV rider in sixth place.

It meant Honda's losing streak is now up to 19 consecutive races, exceeding its previous longest win drought from the 2008 British GP to 2009 Dutch TT.

Marquez has also now dropped 64-points behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo, in 17th place.

Read More