Marquez won’t go without a fight
Spaniard takes crucial win to rekindle title fire
Marc Marquez put Maverick Viñales firmly in his place on Sunday by showing just why he is the King of Texas. His emphatic win extended his unbeaten record on US soil to an incredible nine victories and closes the championship points gap to Viñales in the process.
Coming into the weekend with unprecedented pressure to take the fight to his fellow Spaniard after two straight defeats in Qatar and Argentina, the reigning world champion did not come up short.
Marquez managed to stay calm, despite a series of crashes and a serious challenge from Viñales throughout practice and qualifying.
He admitted to MCN that he had to adapt to the situation and not crumble as his Spanish rival piled on the pressure.
“It was a strange feeling, because it was an important weekend and I felt that pressure, but at the same time I felt the confidence that a good circuit gives to you, when it’s good for your riding style. You know that if you have some problems with your riding style you can manage them a little bit, and I was able to manage them well.
“On Friday, I thought that things might be more difficult, but then on Saturday we made a big change on the bike, and it was completely different afterward – I had a completely different feeling. I knew after that that we could challenge. But the pressure was there, especially in the beginning of the race, and it wasn’t easy to manage it.”
But while he might have been the clear favourite at the start of the week-
end, as the series headed to a track where his unbeaten record stretches back to his first ever premiere class win in 2013, Marquez sounded relieved that things had gone according to plan after scoring only 13 points in the first two rounds of 2017.
“It was an important weekend and it was vital to come back after the crash in Argentina in the best way, with a victory. But it wasn’t easy to do, because the temperature got much higher on Sunday and I told my chief mechanic five minutes before the race that I wanted to change to the hard front tyre.
“In the end, it was the right idea to move from the medium because I was pushing the front a lot at the end of the race. But it meant that I had to take more care at the start of the race and to understand where the limit of the tyre was. I was behind Dani trying to manage the race, but when I saw he was suffering and Valentino was close I knew it was time to attack.”
And, leaving team-mate Pedrosa for dead as he cleared off to win by an eventual three seconds, the 24-yearold admitted afterwards that the race had been a huge relief after a difficult defence of his crown.
“Every year is difficult and every year we give 100%, but this year everything has been a little tighter. I managed the race and felt quite comfortable, which is important, but it’s possibly the most important victory for me here.
“We came from Argentina where I made a mistake, it was important to come back strong and to win one race before we go to Europe – and we did that. It’s also important that we’re third again in the championship because before the race I looked at the TV and I was eighth and I knew I had to start to come back!”
‘ This is possibly the most important race victory I have had here’ MARC MARQUEZ