MAR­QUEZ PLAYS IT SAFE

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Marc Mar­quez re­verted to his con­sis­tent self at the Dutch TT by set­tling for a solid points-scor­ing fin­ish in third place be­hind Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci, tak­ing home 16 valu­able points in­stead of risk­ing ev­ery­thing in the tricky damp con­di­tions of Sun­day’s race.

Mar­quez went back to his 2016 ti­tlewin­ning tac­tics as he set­tled for a strong re­sult with­out risk­ing a crash.

He told MCN after the race: “It was a tricky race, and a dan­ger­ous one for the cham­pi­onship. It was the sort of race where you can lose many points very eas­ily, and in the end I de­cided to choose the safe op­tion, more or less. I maybe could have fought for the vic­tory, but I de­cided to set­tle for be­ing on the podium and was able to be con­sis­tent and only push on the last lap when I needed to.”

And with the cham­pi­onship gap to new cham­pi­onship leader An­drea Dovizioso now down to only 11 points – and the gap to Mav­er­ick Viñales a mere seven – Mar­quez con­ceded that his strategy had been the right one.

He said: “It was the most im­por­tant thing for me. After a dif­fi­cult start to the sea­son and with many ups and downs al­ready and two crashes, to be only 11 points from Dovi is re­ally good. The cham­pi­onship is a long one, and we need to keep work­ing. I know that we can im­prove too – we’re close to it now.”

How­ever, while he might have been pre­pared to set­tle for third place as he held off Dovizioso in the clos­ing stages of the race, Mar­quez also demon­strated that he was pre­pared to set­tle for noth­ing less than the podium after an ag­gres­sive bat­tle with fel­low Honda rider Cal Crutchlow in the fi­nal laps of the race (see left).

“I saw on my board that he was com­ing fast and I knew he could be strong when he ar­rived, be­cause he’s a rider who isn’t fight­ing for the cham­pi­onship and can take a risk to be there.

“In the end, though, I was able to try to beat him, and I man­aged it! But with my ex­pe­ri­ence of Valentino in 2015, I knew that I pre­ferred to ar­rive at the last chi­cane first, so I made my move be­fore that to make sure of the third po­si­tion!”

‘I knew Cal could be strong, be­cause he isn’t fight­ing for the cham­pi­onship’ MARC MAR­QUEZ

Mar­quez had his sen­si­ble head on at the Dutch TT

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