MotoGP: Marquez limiting damage at Honda’s home race

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Marc Marquez has admitted that he’s out to limit the damage to his championship aspirations this weekend at Motegi, despite the significance of the race at a circuit built by Honda as a fiftieth birthday present to itself.

The Repsol Honda rider looks well on track to wrapping up the 2016 title over the course of MotoGP’s three flyaway races – but despite that says he’s known since the start of the year that Motegi was going to be tricky.

“The triple-header always marks a demanding period in the season because there are three races in a row in different time zones and different conditions, so we must handle them calmly and with the same mind-set we have kept throughout this season.

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“The Japanese Grand Prix is an important appointment for us as it is Honda’s home race and one where we have great memories, as we clinched the title in 2014. On the other hand, it’s a circuit that has always been a bit challenging for us.

“So for example, if Aragon was a track that I marked for attacking, Motegi is one that I marked for giving up as few points as possible. That said, we’ll approach it with an open mentality, aiming for the best result possible but ready to adapt to the circumstances.”

But while he might be playing a strategic game this weekend, teammate Dani Pedrosa is instead out for a tactical success, hoping to take the strong form he’s shown in the last two rounds into a track he loves.

“Motegi is one of my favourite tracks, and in addition to the fact that it’s Honda’s home circuit, I’ve had good results there. Clearly, we want to get the best result possible in front of our Japanese fans, but we must arrive there and start working on the bike and the tyres to understand if we’ll be able to be as competitive as we have been lately.

“At this moment, the most important thing is to find the best combination between the tyres and the bike, with myself also in the formula of course, to try and start to go well beginning Friday.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer