MotoGP: Marquez shrugs off Friday highside

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Marc Marquez has shrugged off a high speed highside fall during free practice for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, bouncing back from the crash at Motegi to still end the day second fastest overall behind championship rival Andrea Dovizioso in treacherous conditions.

Suffering the unusual fall in the closing minutes of free practice two at the rain-struck circuit owned by his Honda bosses and where he lifted the title twelve months ago, the Spaniard joked afterwards that it was better to get it out of the way today!

“This morning everything was perfect and I felt very, very good on the bike. That was the case until the last exit of FP2, despite having to go back from a change to the setup that hadn’t work as well as we hoped. At the end of the session we fit a new set of tyres and I had a different feeling, less grip.

“I suffered a high-side, which is a bit uncommon in MotoGP now, but in the end, I’m fine. We need to check for why it happened, and we can certainly work a bit on the electronics to understand how to improve that side. Anyway, our speed was there and our lap times came out good, so our mentality will remain the same. I feel confident for the weekend.”

It was a more difficult day for teammate Dani Pedrosa though, with low track temperatures and his light weight conspiring to leave him far from the front – something that he was able to improve on later in the day as the weather improved.

“This morning was very tough as we struggled to put heat into the tyres and I had no grip at all. In the afternoon we modified the setup, aiming to cope with these cold temperatures, and we improved a little bit but not enough yet. I’m still feeling uncomfortable on the bike due to the lack of grip. We had a softer tyre spec available, but looking at the forecast, we expect more rain to come. We preferred to continue with the tyre configuration that we think can last the race, looking to understand how to make them work better for us.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer