‘ I don’t understand how Marc did it’
Marquez risks everything to win and draw level with Ducati star Dovizioso
Three riders will fight to the bitter end in one of the closest finishes to a championship race in Motogp history, after Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso left Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix on equal points after 13 action-packed races. And with Maverick Viñales only another 16 points behind, it looks set to be a spectacular and unpredictable end to what has been a thrilling season with only five rounds to go.
In fact, so close is the championship battle that Marquez admitted after the race that his desperate need for points is forcing him to take risks whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Playing it safe does not seem to be an option for the Repsol Honda star. And with Ducati ace Dovizioso on stunning form, Marquez was forced to push incredibly hard in the closing stages of Sunday’s race to make it past Danilo Petrucci for the win and 25 valuable points.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel confident because the track was so slippery. When you see a Moto2 and Moto3 race with so many crashes, you lose even more confidence. But I realised that I might need those five points in Valencia at the end of the year, so I tried, I pushed, and I took a big risk.
“If I had crashed, everyone would have said ‘he never changes, blah blah blah.’ But that is my style, and it has given me five championships, so I’ve got to keep pushing while still trying to manage the risk.
“The last lap was amazing, though – probably one of the best races of my career. You can’t imagine the tension and the pressure during the race – it was so difficult to keep mentally strong and stay focused. I took a lot of risks, but that’s my style and with this championship you have to take an extra five points if you can get them.”
However, despite the pressure of the race held in torrential rain, Marquez also conceded that he did slow to think about the championship battle – if only briefly!
“I was thinking about it, and in the first part of the race my feeling wasn’t so good and I had a few moments where I nearly crashed. But when Danilo overtook me, I knew it was time to take a risk and try and change my rhythm and stay with him. But when Jorge crashed, I realised I needed to keep going and try to stay with him.”
And with Marquez and Dovizioso now level on championship points (and even on wins, leaving Marquez just ahead thanks to scoring more second places), he says he’s excited to see what the five-round minichampionship battle will bring.
“This championship is amazing. Everything can happen it seems, like we’ve seen in the last few races. Now we’re back on top with Andrea, and the last five races will be very tough. We just need to keep pushing and give it our all as we fight all the way.”
‘I took a lot of risks, but that’s my style and I might need those five points’ MARC MARQUEZ