Miraculous Marquez saves title number six on his elbow
‘My most stressful title yet’
Marc Marquez is the 2017 Motogp world champion after a dramatic final round that saw him come oh-so-close to crashing in the closing stages.
Going into the weekend needing only to finish in the top eleven to deny title rival Andrea Dovizioso his debut premier class crown, Marquez looked to be playing it safe in the opening stages of the 30-lap race, letting Johann Zarco through to lead and then sitting behind the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie.
But, feeling good and unable to help himself, he launched an audacious attack in the closing laps of the race despite Dovizioso battling back in fifth place. The youngest-ever fourtime Motogp champion launched an attack on Zarco that nearly ended in disaster – but said after the race that he’d do the same again!
“I think I made a good highlights reel of the race! It was hard to control, because the easiest strategy is to win the race – but it wasn’t that easy.
“I let Zarco past because I knew he would try to push hard, but while I was behind him I was able to ride much faster. But then I started losing concentration because I wasn’t riding in my own way, in my own rhythm. I tried to be calm all race, but I felt really good so I tried to push on. I lost concentration on the braking point – it was crazy – but it was Marquez style right to the end!”
When he lost the front it looked like a crash was about to blow the title race wide open once again. But, somehow, he saved it.
“I arrived at the end of the straight and felt like another bike was very close to me – and then I braked too late. That was the first mistake. I went in too fast, had some small chatter that we struggled with all weekend, and because of that I lost the front. But because I only lost the front, I tried to stay with my bike to the end even though I didn’t know if we’d finish in the gravel or in the wall.
“But I didn’t lose the rear, and I was able to save it with the elbow and the knee. But the main reason for the incident was the tension of the race. I was too stiff on the bike but at the same time I was really sensitive to every bump. Maybe I could have leaned again and stayed on the track, but I decided to go into the gravel and finish the race safely.”
And while Zarco might have been able to beat Marquez to second place the Frenchman also admitted after the race that he had been given a stern warning to go easy on his fellow racer in Sunday’s battle!
“On Saturday night I was going to bed on my scooter and Marc’s Mum stopped me and said: ‘Oh Zarco, please take it easy tomorrow!’ I told her that yes, of course, I am going to listen to you, Mum! But in the end Marc listened to his Mum even better than I did!”
Marquez is the golden boy of Motogp