Marc Marquez ready to bounce back in Japan

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Marc Marquez is confident he can quickly erase the memory of his disastrous Phillip Island MotoGP experience just five days ago to challenge for a crucial victory in Japan this weekend.

The Spaniard held a commanding 43-point lead going into last Sunday’s Australian round and could have clinched an historic first premier class title had he scored eight points more than closest adversary Lorenzo.

Marquez has arrived in Japan though with his lead slashed to just 18-points after he was disqualified from the Phillip Island rankings for failing to pull into the pits during a designated two-lap window to switch bikes.

Every rider had to pit for fresh tyres in a historic first dry flag-to-flag race that was reduced to a two-part 19-lap clash after Bridgestone experienced severe tyre issues on a new surface at Phillip Island.

Marquez raced on for one lap beyond strict guidelines imposed by Bridgestone on safety grounds and the subsequent black flag threw Lorenzo a shock title lifeline.

Marquez told MCN at a cold and wet Twin Ring Motegi that it had not taken him long to brush off the disappointment of his costly Phillip Island blunder and he said: “Honestly it was not so difficult (to put out of my mind) because we did a big mistake with the team but my feeling with the bike was so good and my confidence so high and I was fighting for the victory. I was coming so strong with the second bike and even faster than in qualifying, so that is why I remember and I don’t remember anything else that happened.”

Marquez said the Phillip Island nightmare had only strengthened his team’s desire to clinch the title and help him become the first rookie to win the premier class since Kenny Roberts back in 1978.

“The most important thing is we are a team, we are all human and anyone can do a mistake. The motivation in the team is even higher than before and I feel good and the team is comfortable, "said the current Moto2 world champion.

One curve ball to be thrown in this weekend certainly looks like being the weather.

Typhoon Francisco might not be bringing the havoc to the area close to the Twin Ring Motegi as had been anticipated earlier this week, but strong winds and heavy rain is still expected for Friday and Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions.

Asked if he is worried about the potential influence the elements might have in this weekend’s proceedings, the 20-year-old added: “Sure I would prefer to have a normal weekend in dry conditions but it looks like on Friday and Saturday it will be sure raining 100% and Sunday should be dry. But in the wet conditions in Le Mans I was fast and my feeling is not so bad. In rain conditions though you never know. The most important thing is to get the title. It doesn't matter when. Now Jorge is getting closer and he did a very good race in Phillip Island. We will see how to manage the situation but there are two important races coming up and I hope to be fighting for the victory or the podium."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt