MARQUEZ PLAYS IT SAFE
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