Marquez: My biggest mistake of the season

Marc Marquez is sure his insistence on selecting a rear tyre against his team’s advice led to his dramatic crash out of the final grand prix of 2018.
Marquez: My biggest mistake of the season

Marc Marquez dismissed fears he may not be fit for the first tests of 2019 after he once again hurt his problematic left shoulder in a violent fall out of the final MotoGP race of the season at Valencia.

The world champion said he had committed his “biggest mistake of the season” by going against his team’s advice, and insisting on using Michelin’s medium rear wet compound when the grid’s 23 other riders opted for the soft.



Not long after the race’s start, the rain intensified, and Marquez soon found rear grip was at a premium. Just after witnessing Pol Espargaro crashing out of fourth, the 25-year old would go onto lose the rear in a big way when negotiating turn nine.

He could be seen holding the left shoulder he had clearly injured in a qualifying spill on Saturday. But after gingerly making his way back to the Repsol Honda garage he was in little doubt as to whether he would be testing on Tuesday.

“Today it was the correct decision [to race], and I will test on Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said. “This is not a problem, because, of course there's some pain, but I feel ready to ride the bike, like I showed in the warm up and the race.

“But today was maybe my biggest mistake of the season, because I chose the medium rear tyre. On the grid, all the team, Santi, Alberto said to me, "if it starts to rain, with the soft you are OK.”

“But the problem was that in FP3 with the medium, I was riding in a very good way with not so much water on the track, and when we went out from the box today there was not so much water, and then in the last part of the grid procedure, it stopped raining.

“Then I said, "Put the medium". They put the medium, but when we started the race, a big rain started, and it was so difficult because every time the rear temperature was going down and down, and then I crashed.

“Fortunately I'm OK physically, but it's true that I need to learn from my mistake, because today the decision was not a good one. I was the only one with the medium. Even like this I was there.

“So with the soft – on the warm up I felt good, during all the weekend, but sometimes I take the decision and it's the correct one, but today was my first big mistake of the season, but fortunately it's the last race.”

The fact Marquez had sewn up his fifth MotoGP world crown back in Japan meant he was prepared to take a risk. Had he still been fighting for a world crown, he said, he would have played it safe by choosing the soft rear.

“Today, what I needed was fighting for the championship. If you're fighting for the championship, it is different. If I am fighting for the championship, I will choose the same option as the others.

“Why? Because then I know I have the same options and the same tools to chase the best result. I mean, today was a big mistake, but this is nearly one of my best seasons. 2014 was good, but this season I was constant.

“I was precise, some races I was not 100%, I was able to be on the podium. It's true that one of my main targets this second part of the season was try to finish all the races on the podium. I was able, apart from Australia, but today was my mistake.”

Asked if his shoulder had worsened after Sunday’s crash, he said, “Not really. I mean, I had a strange movement, but today I had a very strong tape on the shoulder. I was just touching the shoulder because it was so painful, but then I realised that everything was in, and it was just from hitting the shoulder.”

The seven-time world champion will undergo surgery in December to ensure he is back and fighting fit for the Sepang test in early 2019.

“I just say to the doctor, "I want to be ready in February for the test!" Most of the time they take like a small bone and they put it here in front, it depends on the technique.

“This is one of the techniques, just to try to put a kind of limit for the shoulder. But it's a recovery, so it takes time. Dr Mir said six weeks, so five! [Laughs] This the rider mentality! But I have the whole winter ahead.”