Victory a tall order at Sepang, says Marquez

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez says Andrea Dovizioso will take all the beating at Sepang.
Victory a tall order at Sepang, says Marquez

Marc Marquez is targeting the podium first and foremost at Sepang on Sunday as the MotoGP world champion admits clinching victory at the Malaysian circuit will be a tough task.

The Repsol Honda rider was third fastest overall in free practice on Friday, lapping in 1m 59.701s as he slotted in behind Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

Marquez, who was only 0.093s behind Rins' time, says Ducati rider Dovizioso sets a clear standard at Sepang. However, he also feels Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Phillip Island winner Maverick Vinales hold a strong hand this weekend.

“Today we had many moments and maybe we need to look at the information because I was the only rider riding with the hard front, and maybe it was too hard. Then in the last run, when I put in the other tyre, it was better so that was the most important,” said Marquez.

“We always look at the calendar and check which tracks we can attack, and this is not one of the best tracks for us so the battle is to be on the podium.

“It’s true that Dovizioso is faster than everybody, he has very good pace and he is riding in a very good way, but we need to manage to be more competitive, with the same speed, but in another way.”

Tuning his attention to his Yamaha and Suzuki rivals, Marquez said both manufacturers could be in the mix on Sunday.

“The Suzuki is working good and the bike is ready to fight for the championship and already they are riding in a very good way, since Aragon. They have a very good front and maybe the weak point of the Suzuki is the top speed, but the acceleration is really good,” he said.

“Yamaha is also very competitive and Valentino put the new tyre, so he was also very competitive. It is clear they have done a step and both Yamahas are managing in a very good way.”