MotoGP World Champion said that he survived the opening weekend of the MotoGP season with 20 points after finishing just 0.023 seconds behind Andrea Dovizioso in Qatar.
The World Champion battled with both Dovizioso and Alex Rins as part of an eight man leading group going into the final stages of the 22-lap race. Despite his best efforts in the final corners, Marquez was unable to beat Dovi for the second time in two years, with the Ducati man out-dragging the Honda to the line.
Despite being so close to the win, Marquez was delighted to end the opening round with 20 points.
“Today was a very strange race,” said the 26-year-old.
“It was a very slow pace, but for me it was much better. Like I said, I was struggling to save the rear tyre but also the front. I think the others didn’t have a problem with the front. For my riding style, this allocation for this circuit was not the best one but we will arrive at some circuits that will be better.
“We survived with 20 points at a circuit we struggle a lot. Yesterday we had two crashes, I was very fast in three or four laps, but I was destroying the front tyre and we survived. This is the most important thing.”
Marquez said he was delighted with the 20 points in Qatar, after suffering from not only tyre issues, but calling the Losail International Circuit one of the worst tracks for not only his RC213V but also himself.
“I’m very, very happy, especially because it’s one of the worst circuits for us, one of the circuits where I struggle more,” he said.
“This weekend, I was struggling a lot to understand and manage the front tyre, because for my riding style it was too soft. Even the hard was not working because it was another one compared to last year and I was struggling a lot.
“Then I ride the whole race with the rear tyre and when you ride the entire race with the rear tyre that means you’re using a lot of rubber. I saw at the end the speed of Dovi was better, but then I just tried to push and to see what would happen if I tried in the last corner.
“Yeah I lost, but I’m very happy because it’s 20 points in, I’m very happy. I give 100% this weekend. I was very close to them, I understand many, many things from Ducati and we have a good package. We will arrive in better circuits and conditions for us.”
When asked about the shoulder, which had prevented him from training for the majority of the offseason, Marquez said: “No, of course for physical condition the race is easy. The pace was very slow at the beginning and for me it was much better for physical conditions and for the tyres.
“For sure you feel like the shoulder muscles are working a different way, but now I have two weeks more to prepare well, but on riding style, it’s okay.”