2019 MotoGP World Championship winner Marc Marquez has described 2019 as his best season in MotoGP as the Spaniard wrapped up his eighth World Championship with four races remaining in Buriram.
Marquez only needed to score two points more than Andrea Dovizioso and finding himself sitting comfortably in second place behind Fabio Quartararo, Marquez did what only Marquez does and stalked the Frenchman, only to put it all on the line in the final corner.
It continued Marquez’ remarkable run of form which has seen him finish in the top two in every race in 2019, winning nine races, with the only exception when he crashed out of a comfortable lead in Austin. Despite winning more races in 2014, the Spaniard said he believes this has been his best season in MotoGP.
“This is my best season in MotoGP,” said the 26-year-old.
“2014, okay, thirteen races in a row, but honestly speaking there was a big difference between level of manufactures, level of bikes. Now we are in a very competitive category, with four manufactures who can fight for a victory in a race.
“We were very consistent, especially we focus a lot on our weak points, and we cover our weak points, so we survive in a very good way in difficult races.
“Now is time to enjoy, of course, and it’s easy to say. If you check the advantage it was an easy year. But believe me, manage the pressure, manage everybody waiting for you to fall or looking to beat you is not easy.
“But apart from that, I want to say thanks to my team. For a rider it’s easy to keep the ambition, but for a team of a lot of people inside, it’s not easy to keep the same mentality of all mechanics, keeping the same concentration and this is one of the most important things.”
Despite knowing that he would win his eighth World Championship just sitting in second place, Marquez said he wanted to approach the race like he would any other, and that included fighting for the win.
“It was a tough race, but I already say on Thursday that my mentality for the weekend will be the same like a normal race and it’s what I did,” he said. “Yesterday in the press conference I repeat again I will try to fight for the victory, and I did.
“I already saw on lap five or six that we start to open a big gap against Dovi, but then I saw that Fabio was incredibly fast. He was riding in a very good way, especially in the first ten laps, I was struggling a lot with the front tyre. Then the last ten laps I catch him again and I tried to control a little bit in a better way, but I was following him, and I say ‘ok, I will try the last lap’ because if not, there will be no chance.
“I did exactly the same as Misano. I tried with three laps to study, to see if it’s possible to overtake there and I say okay its possible. So, it’s what I did on the last lap, even in the last corner he tried.
“Fabio every time becomes stronger and stronger so will be a very tough contender next year for the championship, but at the moment we are there fighting with them.
“Was one moment on the race where I was 0.7, 0.8 nearly a second behind him, where I said if he didn’t slow down it will be impossible, but here is where I did my fastest lap. When I say okay give up or try, I will push two laps at the maximum and if I pass these laps, I will be ready to win the race. That is what I did, I pushed two laps, I did the fastest lap then. Then I said it’s time to relax and cool down as I was on the limit with the front.”
This marks the second time in three races where Marquez has pipped rookie sensation Quartararo on the final lap of the race, denying the Frenchman his first MotoGP victory. When asked about Quatararo, Marquez said: “Fabio is riding the Yamaha in a very good way. I have some memories from the past and similar riding style to Jorge [Lorenzo] when he was in the best level in Yamaha. He is riding a Yamaha; he is using all the track and he manage well the race.
“Today he was very, very, very fast during al the race. But we have some strong points, that is the engine at the moment. But they have some other strong points which is the rear grip, in sector three and four it was impossible for us to follow them, but he is improving a lot and will be one of the main contenders for next year.”
Marquez also wanted to dispel the idea that Honda would’ve preferred Marquez to wait a week, wrapping up the title in Honda’s home of Motegi.
“In Motegi we will try to enjoy, now is time to enjoy,” said Marquez. “In Motegi we will try to enjoy it with all the Japanese staff.
“Some people asked maybe Honda prefer to win in Motegi, but I enjoyed a message from the top and he said try to close in Thailand, so I said okay no pressure, thank you, and that is what I did.
“So now is time to enjoy it, but don’t forget I have ambitions. One of the next ones is to fight for the triple crown. In the constructers, in the team we are only 19 points behind Ducati, so we will try.”