Marc Marquez bounced back from the fastest and scariest crash of his career in Mugello to claim sixth place on the grid for tomorrow’s Italian MotoGP clash.
The Repsol Honda rider miraculously escaped serious injury after he lost control of his RC213V machine at 210mph as he entered the braking zone at the end of the super fast Mugello start/finish straight in FP2.
Marquez locked the front at just over 210mph but once his front tyre gripped again it pitched him on a terrifying trajectory towards a trackside concrete wall.
The reigning Moto2 world champion had no choice but to throw himself off his factory machine at over 170mph and he suffered a cracked bone in his right shoulder and nasty grazing and a badly swollen chin.
The Spaniard also had another heavy fall in this morning’s FP3 but he rebounded brilliantly to claim a place on the second row of the grid in sixth.
When MCN asked Marquez to explain what had happened in the high-speed tumble, he said: “It is just uphill and downhill at that point and it has some bumps and also the front wheel is floating a little bit. I brake in the same point but a little bit more aggressive in the first part.
"The first part wasn’t so bad but then I braked a little bit more and the front wheel locked. I tried to release the brake to save the crash but when it gripped again it pushed me towards the grass and I saw I was going directly to the wall and I jumped off the bike.”
The 20-year-old, who is looking to protect a 100% podium record in his MotoGP career in tomorrow’s 23-lap race, also spoke of his first feelings once he came to a rest in the gravel trap.
He added: “When I crashed it was scary because my visor had gone and all I had was gravel on my face. First I checked my legs and they were fine but then I saw that I had a big pain in the shoulder and especially in the face.
"Now it doesn’t look so good but yesterday I can tell you it was much worse. The helmet was pushing into my face and I was scared for that. I remember everything and the most important is that after that crash today I was able to ride the bike.”
He admitted it had been hard to regain his confidence after such a horrific crash and he had been apprehensive on his first laps today when approaching the braking zone for Turn 1.
He said: “Sure it was hard after the crash but it was also we lost a lot of time to work on the set-up of the bike and this morning I was struggling quite a lot. It was not only the set-up but also my riding style.
"At the end of the straight I was losing three or four tenths every lap compared with Dani (Pedrosa) and this afternoon was much better. But after the crash it took me a while to recover the confidence with the bike. But even like that I finished sixth and for that I am very happy.
"The pain is everywhere but I have a small crack in the shoulder and also my leg has big pain. The helmet is rubbing on my face quite a lot but I can still ride. The race will be difficult because this track is one of the most difficult physically.”
So is he racing for vital world championship points or the podium?
He added: “Points for sure because in one lap I can be fine but for the race distance it is not easy.”