Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez said his faster pace in Motegi caused a scare with fuel levels as he cruised to victory in Japan.
On the back of retaining his World Championship last time out in Thailand, Marquez took pole position in the mixed conditions on Saturday and made the most of his perfect starting position, aiming to clear off from the start.
Edging away from the chasing pack, Marquez continued to manage the gap behind him. When it looked as if it was just a case of keeping it upright, Marquez explained that his fuel alarm popped up, giving him a late scare. Despite this, Marquez managed to hold on for the win and continue his stunning run of top two finishes.
“Happy for the victory of course here in japan, but the rain tyres were just to prepare for the race,” said the 26-year-old.
“Was a little bit cloudy and you never know what will happen. So, we scrubbed the tyres in case of a flag to flag the tyres are ready to attack from the first lap. Then from the grid I saw that many riders were with the soft rear, that was the biggest doubt, but I believe in the medium.
“The issue in the race was we predict, on the team because we did a great job and they did a great job to analyse all the things, and we predict a [1:]46 low pace, but the problem was I was able to ride a [1:}45 high in a good way.
“So sometimes this is good news, but this time it was not so good, because we knew with the fuel it was a little bit on the limit. I tried to control during all the race, I tried to be smooth, tried to be on this [1:]46 low.
“Then when I take two seconds, I said I will try to manage the distance. Lucky for me, because when one and a half lap remains, the fuel alarm was on the dashboard. When I have the fuel alarm, it reminds me I have three laps of fuel, then I tried to manage and control enough to pass the line in first position.”
Marquez had been speaking about how he was expecting a tough race and wasn’t sure if he had the pace to challenge for the victory. In spite of what he said he was expecting, it was yet another win for the Spaniard and when asked if he expected it to be tougher than it actually was, the Honda man said: “Today the strategy of the race was to follow someone and attack at the end or push from the beginning.
“I said okay, today I feel really good in the warmup, so I will push from the beginning. For that reason, I overtake Fabio so quick when he overtook me, so that was the main strategy. Then I start to push, and I see that he was fast because he was with the soft rear, but I keep going and going and step by step I increase the advantage, when I take 2.5 seconds, I start to manage.
“Then in a few laps he was very fast, but I go down to a 46 low and I control in a good way. But all the Repsol Honda team did a great job because on Friday we were far but yesterday we did a great improvement.”