‘Lucky’ Marquez kept pushing not realising Yamahas were out

Marc Marquez makes it look easy once again but the man himself insists he was pushing hard after his 'lucky' escape from the carnage behind
‘Lucky’ Marquez kept pushing not realising Yamahas were out

Marc Marquez says he was initially only aware that his MotoGP World Championship title rival Andrea Dovizioso was out of the Catalunya MotoGP so kept pushing for fear of a Yamaha threat that could never materialise.

The series leader romped to a dominant fourth win of the season after four of his main rivals – Dovizioso, Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo – were eliminated in an accident on lap two triggered by his Repsol Honda team-mate.

Though Marquez says he was aware of Dovizioso’s exit and the presence of Danilo Petrucci in second, he hadn’t been told that Vinales and Rossi were also out. With Marquez expecting a challenge from the Yamaha contingent – including Fabio Quartararo - in the latter stages, he therefore kept pushing early on with his softer rear tyre in an effort to develop a gap.

“In the race I felt something strange because I knew Dovi was out, I didn’t know the others were out,” he said. “Then I saw Petrucci was in second and in the practice Petrucci was not one of the fastest guys so I continued pushing even though the gap was already big

“I continued pushing because I knew this guy [Quartararo] and the Yamaha riders were very fast in the last part of the race. I was trying to manage the tyres in the last laps. A good 25 points, a good result for the championship and a good result for our family [after Alex Marquez’s win in Moto2].

Touching on the incident that eliminated his key rivals, Marquez admits he was ‘very lucky’ not to be caught out too.

“The incident, I was very lucky. For some reason I was behind Dovi and I thought I would overtake him on the straight with the slipstream. But I was behind him on that brake point and I saw he was stopping a lot the bike [braking hard] so I released the brakes and I go in, in case… in the end it was the moment. But I was very lucky.”

Victory for Marquez coupled to Dovizioso’s DNF means he has opened up a 37 points lead over his Ducati rival, with Alex Rins 39 points adrift and Petrucci 42 points off.