No high-risk strategy from Marc Marquez in Australia

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Marc Marquez has admitted he will not adopt a high-risk strategy to try and wrap up an historic first MotoGP world title at the spectacular Phillip Island track in Australia on Sunday.

The factory Honda rider needs to score eight points more than closest rival Jorge Lorenzo to become the youngest rider ever to win the premier class crown.

He also stands on the brink of being the first rookie since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the title but he will not be throwing caution to the wind this weekend with so much at stake.

It was after his second place behind HRC teammate Dani Pedrosa in Sepang four days ago that Marquez said he had ridden with the world championship at the forefront of his mind.

Six wins and 14 podiums in 15 races have moved the 20-year-old into a commanding 43-point lead in the championship but when asked by MCN in Phillip Island today if would continue his normal policy of maximum attack at all times, he said: “In the practice I will be the same Marc and push and focus on my job and the bike set-up and then in the race I will see what happens.

“If Dani, Lorenzo or Valentino (Rossi) is much faster than me I will try to finish second or third and take points for the championship.”

Marquez said he was not feeling the pressure at being so close to history, even though it would be unthinkable for him to blow such a huge lead with just three races remaining.

Before the season started, Marquez was the master at downplaying his chances of success, but with such a big points advantage he is now expected to clinch the title with relative ease.

Did that ramp up the pressure though?

“I feel the pressure but last year the pressure was much more in Moto2. But for sure here with more media in MotoGP there is some pressure but my mentality is that this is my first year and the target was not the championship. 

“I will try to focus and get the championship, but if for some reason I don’t I will try to be quiet and think about next year, “said the reigning Moto2 world champion.

Marquez said he had clearly exceeded his own pre-season goals, which was to try and finish third in the world championship.

He added: “I didn’t expect to be this strong if I am being honest and in my best dreams it was impossible to think that. I expected to be competitive and in my best dreams it was to try and be third.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt