MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez downplayed his crash after following pole sitter Fabio Quartararo, insisting that he is more disappointed to be starting from eleventh place than for crashing in Sepang.
The Spaniard was tucked in behind the rookie for the entirety of qualifying, refusing to move from the rear wheel of the Frenchman. Quartararo and his Petronas SRT team tried to lose Marquez with a quick pit stop, however Marquez was refusing to give, hoping to use Quartararo to help him with his own lap time.
Unfortunately for Marquez, whilst following the Frenchman, he got on the gas too quickly coming out of turn two and threw himself over his bike in a nasty looking highside. This freed up Quartararo to go and take pole, whilst leaving Marquez unable to post a lap time, meaning he will start the race from down in the middle of the fourth row in eleventh place.
Despite the crash, Marquez said he is okay, and more upset about where he will be starting the race from, than the crash itself.
“I’m OK. I’m painful around the body, it was a big crash,” said the 26-year-old.
“We set up the bike in a way to have the good rhythm, but we were struggling for one lap speed, especially on the change of directions and the bike was a little bit more unstable. But, the tyre was ready because already at turn fifteen I was fast.
“Maybe I changed a little bit too aggressive, but honestly speaking I’m more disappointed to start eleventh than for the crash.”
Many have criticised Marquez for attempting to follow Quartararo with some believing that Marquez was attempting mind games on the Frenchman. Marquez insisted that he didn’t want to follow Quartararo, with the Yamaha able to hold tighter lines, meaning it’s not a good bike to follow.
“I was behind Quartararo, he changed direction and I tried to copy, but I just flew,” said Marquez.
“Honestly speaking, I was looking for another rider because it’s quite difficult to follow him because he’s riding in a different way, it’s not so good to follow him with the Honda. I was looking for another one, but this time the strategy wasn’t the perfect one.
“But anyway, when you have some weak points you need to analyse well and the most important thing, especially with the used tyre, I feel strong.”