MotoGP: Marquez ‘opted for the safe option’

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Marc Marquez has admitted that he opted for the safe option during Sunday’s Dutch TT to come home safe on the podium, by refusing to take the same risks as Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci as they pushed forwards to fight for the lead in the final laps.

Running in damp conditions, Marquez instead opted for the strategy that took him to title success in 2016, and said afterwards that he made the right choice for his title hopes.

"I’m very happy with the podium and with our race, as we were competitive enough in the dry at this track, which isn’t one of the best for us. Of course conditions were quite tricky and in this kind of situation you can lose or gain many points. I opted for the ‘safe’ option, more or less. Maybe I would have been able to try and fight for the victory, but honestly I had some warnings and thought it too dangerous for the championship, so I decided to be consistent in the race and to push hard at the end.

“I paid close attention as it was hard to understand where the limit was, but in the end I was able to manage well. We’re just 11 points down on the lead and that’s important, no matter the fourth position. Now we go to some circuits that could be better for us, so let’s keep working hard and see what happens."

However, it was a more disappointing weekend for teammate Dani Pedrosa. Struggling all weekend to get heat into his tyres, in the wet conditions he was unable to make them work and dropped out of the battle for the top ten to slump to 13th.

"Today the race was very difficult as I didn't have a great start and I didn’t recover the positions I hoped to. I found myself quite a distance behind, despite the fact that I was able to lap well enough compared with the guys at the front. Later, when the rain arrived, I slowed down a little bit and immediately started losing temperature in the tyres. I know that I’m very sensible in these kinds of situations and that next time I need to manage that better.

“I have to find a way to maintain the temperature in the slicks because when they get cold it becomes very difficult to get back on the rhythm and regain confidence. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to manage it better this weekend. The positive points are that I could make some good lap times early in the race and that I lost just one point on the leader in the championship standings."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer