Mea­sured Mar­quez back to ti­tle-win­ning ways

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

With the 2017 Honda RC213V big-bang pack­age fi­nally start­ing to come on song, it wouldn’t come as a sur­prise to dis­cover that Marc Mar­quez is plan­ning on tak­ing the fight to his ti­tle op­po­nents in the com­ing rounds of the cham­pi­onship.

Mar­quez showed he has the ca­pac­ity to set­tle for some­thing other than a win by tak­ing a solid fin­ish in Jerez, a track where he felt he couldn’t push for the top step of the podium. The 24-year-old be­lieves there’s a good op­por­tu­nity com­ing up to re­vert to his 2016 ti­tle-win­ning strat­egy of cherry-pick­ing the rounds where he can re­ally push for vic­tory, while en­sur­ing he scores well at races where he is un­able to win.

“I was sur­prised to be on the podium, be­cause nor­mally for my rid­ing style Jerez is one of the more dif­fi­cult tracks,” he said. “I’ve spent years try­ing to un­der­stand it! But this year I was able to push a lit­tle more and more un­til the last few laps.

“I tried for the vic­tory, but saw it was dan­ger­ous so slowed down again – I checked where Valentino and Viñales were and said to my­self, ‘OK, sec­ond place is fine!’ It looks like our strong points were strong in Jerez; our weak points a lit­tle less – a sur­prise for all the Honda teams.”

Clos­ing the gap to se­ries leader Valentino Rossi to only four points in the process, Mar­quez reck­ons that if he can get the next few races out of the way safely, any­thing can hap­pen.

“We’re at a good level now, and my tar­get now is to stay there un­til Catalunya, be­cause I know that these races are not my favourite ones,” he said. “Af­ter Ar­gentina it looked like the Yamaha rid­ers were un­beat­able, but af­ter Jerez it looks like the ex­act op­po­site. Maybe it’ll all change at Le Mans, but the cham­pi­onship is a long one.”

It’s been a long time since the last Rep­sol 1-2

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