After winning last time out at his home race in Motorland Aragon, reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says he’s out to repeat the feat this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix – and know just how crucial it’ll be if he wants to retain the championship from Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Viñales.
But with an incredible last series of races and good form at Honda’s home circuit of Motegi (where he won the championship twelve months ago), the Spaniard says he feels he can make a mark come Sunday’s race.
“There are four GPs to go in the season, and we must give 100% at every one, starting with the three flyaway rounds. These races are always demanding due to the different time zones and conditions, and this year with the Championship so close, they’ll be even more of a challenge. The most important thing for us is that since Montmeló, we’ve been on the podium in every race but Silverstone. We’ve done a good job of managing different conditions and different circuits, which gives us confidence and shows that we’re at a good level everywhere.
“We have some great memories in Japan, because we won last year and got the title there twice, but every season is a new story and we must remain focused and ready to handle every situation. Track conditions in Motegi can vary dramatically, and we’ll have to work hard on the setup to find a good compromise for the hard acceleration and braking. We’ll give our best effort and push hard to get another good result in front of Honda’s home fans.”
He might have competition from teammate Dani Pedrosa, though, with his countryman’s history at the track – and his goals of revenge after missing out last year’s race thanks to injury – he too is out to win.
“I look forward to racing at Honda's home circuit in Japan! Not only are the fans very special - they are incredibly passionate and in love with Honda and with the sport which makes you feel very welcome - but also the circuit is great. I've had a good feeling with the track from the first time riding there, when I was 15 years old. It suits my riding style and I enjoy the track a lot. Last year unfortunately I had a big crash and suffered a serious injury but I hope this season we can keep up the good momentum and have a strong race. We’ll definitely give our 100% to make it happen!”