Marc Marquez claims that his drive to regularly compete at the top of MotoGP is hampered by his inability to complete a race weekend “at 100 percent.”
The Honda rider revealed that his recovering right shoulder is still causing him problems, and that despite being able to run flat-out in races, his preparation for Sunday isn’t as good as it should be because he wasn’t able to push hard enough during practise to get a sense of what to expect in the race.
Despite his “difficulties,” the six-time premier class champion managed a strong fourth-place finish in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix after passing Ducati’s Jack Miller late on, while a first rostrum result of the year was narrowly missed after losing the front end of his machine at the final bend and running wide – allowing Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro to complete the top three.
Marquez admitted that he is still unable to “riding the way I want with the bike,” citing his difficulties guiding his RC213-V through right-handed turns as the biggest impediment to his being able to fight consistently for victories and titles once more.
“That was the maximum today, I saved my energy all weekend for Sunday because I’m still not in the condition to do the whole weekend at 100%,” explained Marquez.
“Therefore I tried to save my energy on Friday, then yesterday in qualifying I started to push and today I gave everything in the race.”
“The best indicator (whether feeling of saving crashes coming back) will be to see if I can make this kind of save on the right side.”
“This is where I’m struggling more as I feel good with the left side and am strong but on the right side I’m still struggling, but I’ll never give up and will keep pushing 100%.”
“I am riding with difficulties and I still cannot ride the way I want with the bike, but this is what we have and I’ll keep trying, it doesn’t matter if it’s against my brother like in Portimao or against Miller here, or whether it’s for first or tenth I’ll keep giving my maximum.”
Marquez joked that his home crowd in Spain helped him recover from his near-race-ending collision at the final curve five laps from home, acknowledging that a podium was “possible” before his near-miss.
“Fourth was the best I could do, but at one point in the race I thought maybe the podium was possible,” continued Marquez.
“The key point was when I overtook (Jack) Miller, in order to stop Aleix (Espargaro) who was faster than us, I tried to do this but then in the last corner I went a bit wide and lost the front and rear.”
“I think the Spanish crowd helped me back up again and saved the crash.”