MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez said he was able to win at Phillip Island despite ‘not being the fastest’ rider, after Maverick Vinales crashed out of contention with just three corners remaining.
The World Champion was part of a leading group which featured eight riders in the early laps, however, once pole-sitter Vinales got to the front, Marquez knew he had to follow his compatriot through. The two then pulled away from the field with Vinales leading the Repsol Honda man until the final lap.
Marquez did what he has done to Quartararo in recent races, taking the lead in the final lap. Keeping it tight in the face of some spitting rain, Marquez held on before Vinales lost the front end of his M1 downhill into MG corner, leaving Marquez free to take the victory.
“Incredible victory because today we were not the fastest one in the racetrack, Maverick was faster than us, but I was waiting for him,” said the 26-year-old.
“I knew that he was the target and he was coming, I know that he was starting not so good, but I was waiting for him and waiting for him. Then when he overtook me, I tried to overtake him to try and be there in second place, because I knew that when he overtook Cal he’d push a lot.
“I did a strong move to Cal, but it was the only chance for me, because if in that lap he opened half a second or a little bit more, it would have been impossible. I used his slip stream as he was incredibly fast in sector two and three, I was faster in the last sector, especially on the main straight we used our engine.
“On the last lap this was my lap, overtake him on the main straight and then try to close all the doors, but then I see it start to rain, especially in turn three and six.
“I said what is going on. I was trying to brake so deep, but I was sliding a lot in the rear as the tyre finished. But in turn ten he already overtook me two times, so I knew he would come.
“I go in so deep and quite strong braking. I didn’t know he crashed, but I had a second chance, where if he overtook me, I could overtake him.”
Marquez’ victory saw him go one further than Mick Doohan, after equaling the Aussie’s record for victories with Honda last weekend, Marquez said being able to beat the record is something special.
“But apart from that, I am very happy,” he said.
“We were slow cooking there, we cook the victory in a good way, we tried to work in all the details and when I equally Mick Doohan in Motegi, and now I am the rider with more victories in Honda and this is something incredible as it’s the biggest manufacture in the world. So, I am happy and enjoying this dream as we don’t know the future.”