Marc Marquez apologised to Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo after the Repsol Honda rider sparked the first major talking point of 2013 in a dramatic finish to yesterday’s Jerez race.
Marquez collided with factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo at the final corner on the last lap to seize a second place that moved the 20-year-old into the outright lead in the world championship standings.
Lorenzo was incensed with Marquez and clearly felt the pass was over the limit as he was pushed wide when the reigning Moto2 world champion’s RC213V hit him on the left side.
The daring move by Marquez reminded fans of a similar bold attack launched by Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau in identical circumstances during the 2005 Spanish Grand Prix.
Lorenzo’s anger was obvious as he refused to shake hands in Parc Ferme and Marquez tried to calm the storm after the 27-lap clash by apologising for the contact.
Marquez, who now leads the championship by three-points over teammate Dani Pedrosa, said: “It was a difficult race for me and from the beginning I gave 100% every lap. Jorge was there and I tried to be concentrated in the last laps. I saw it was so difficult to overtake him because he had very good acceleration grip and I saw that I was strong in only two points. I tried to take him at Turn 6 but then I ran wide and in the last corner I saw many times on the video that you can overtake in that place. I remember very well Valentino and Sete and many riders. First I thought I would finish third and it was a good place for us but then I saw that Jorge opened the door a little and I tried to go in. The most important thing is both of us finished the race and I am sorry for Jorge but this is a race and everybody is trying to do 100%.”
Marquez said he understood implicitly why Lorenzo had taken the last gasp defeat so badly and he admitted that if the roles had been reversed he would have been upset too, but only for losing one position and four precious points.
He added: “I would be more angry if I lose one place than the action. I saw that Jorge opened the door and I go in. In the past there has been many actions quite similar so for me it was a race and I tried to do 110% and it was the last lap and last corner and one place was up for grabs. If somebody did this to me then sure I would be angry but not for the action but because I lose one position.”
Marquez said he hoped his relationship with Lorenzo would not suffer after their late tangle but he confessed that if the opportunity had arisen to do the same to teammate Pedrosa he probably would not have gone into full attack mode.
He added: “I don’t think so because I have seen on the data that Dani is so fast in that corner. All weekend I was struggling there and he was braking so hard and he did a tighter line. All weekend he was stronger than me and I think I wouldn’t have even tried.”
Marquez now heads to the fourth race in Le Mans as the series leader and he said it was incredible to already be leading the likes of Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi at such an early stage in his premier class career.
He said: “Before start the season if somebody had said that I’d be leading the championship after three races I would not believe it because in the pre-season I was quite fast and we thought it would be difficult. Qatar was hard but in the test here I struggled a lot and I was a bit worried. This second place is like a victory but to continue like that will be difficult because Dani and Jorge are so fast. But the most important is I am learning a lot.”
For more exclusive reaction to the controversial final corner in Jerez, see the May 8 issue of Motor Cycle News.