2017 MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez says it’s only natural that he goes into this weekend’s final round of the season under more pressure than usual, as he sets out to secure his sixth title at Valencia.
The Spaniard has already got one hand on the trophy, though, thanks to a secure 21-point lead that means that nothing short of a disaster for him and a victory for rival Andrea Dovizioso will be enough for the Italian to take his first premier class crown.
But despite that, Marquez admits that there’s always going to be some pressure on his shoulders with so much at stake.
“Of course, it will be natural to feel some pressure in Valencia with so much at stake, but honestly there has been pressure for the entire second part of the season. And the fact that we’ve been able to manage some tricky situations, as was the case at the last race in Malaysia, gives me a positive feeling. Regarding the track, I feel good because I like Valencia. It’s an anticlockwise circuit, which normally suits me.
“It’s also good to have a points advantage to manage. That said, we won’t think too much about any of those things. We definitely don’t think it will be easy, so we won’t go to Valencia with any extra confidence. We’ll keep the same mentality and working method that have brought us to where we are, and we’ll give 100 per cent because it will be important to be fast beginning with free practice one.”
There’s optimism on the other side of the Repsol Honda garage, too, with teammate Dani Pedrosa looking to see out the season strongly after what has admittedly been a year of hits and lows for the veteran racer.
“We head to Valencia in a positive mood, looking to try and finish the season with a good result. I always feel a good atmosphere there, and I get a lot of good energy from the fans! We made a step with our bike setup in Malaysia and this gives us confidence for the weekend. Valencia is a track that I like a lot, I’ve been strong in the past and had good results so I hope to that the bike works well there and we can do a good race.”
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