MotoGP Valencia: I was closer than what I expected – Marquez

| | MotoGP

MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez said that he is closer to the pole position than what he expected, after qualifying in the middle of the front row, just 0.032 seconds behind Fabio Quartararo in Valencia.

The Spaniard didn’t do a time attack until the end of FP3 and despite a small crash in FP4, Marquez came in as one of the favourites for pole position. Quartararo was too fast for the World Champion, however, Marquez said that he was happy to be as close as he was.

“It was not an easy weekend, because we’re trying many, many things,” said the 26-year-old.

“2020 start on Tuesday, Wednesday and already arrived some pieces there we tried. But anyway, we put the best one in for the quali, and I was closer than what I expected.

“Normally Yamaha and especially Fabio is very fast in a hot lap. But in the race pace I feel okay, I feel strong. With both tyres, soft and hard, I feel fast enough to fight for the victory. We will see, it’s two guys, Fabio and Vinales, that will be fast tomorrow.

“But our target is to finish on the podium, try to score points and we will see. It’s not completely in my hands, but we will see if we can achieve the team championship.”

Marquez lost the front end of his RC213V in FP4, going into the right handed turn four. Marquez blamed the crash on not putting enough heat into his front tyre, after changing bikes shortly before.

“I was riding, and Jack was behind me,” he said. “I was riding not so fast, not pushing a lot.

“When I was in the box, I changed the bike, when you change the bike in the middle of the practice it is because you want to try some new or different things. I arrived there, released the brakes, I was using the hard-front tyre, and this is critical, but a typical crash from Valencia turn four.”

There have been intense rumours all weekend that his younger brother Alex looks set to join him in the Repsol Honda team for 2020 after Jorge Lorenzo’s shock retirement on Thursday. These rumours were intensified with news breaking that Johann Zarco looks set to take a ride in the Avintia Ducati team, leaving the path clear for there to be an all-Marquez line up.

When asked about potentially having his younger brother as a team-mate, Marc said: “First of all it’s not in my hands.

“Another thing is everybody here in the room knows that the Honda is maybe the most difficult bike for the first year in MotoGP.

“I know Honda have a list, as it was a surprise for everybody, so now the movements are quite limited for Honda. But on the list is the World Champion in Moto2 and I know he can be my team-mate or not, depends on Honda.

“Depends also if my brother takes the responsibility to the new project or not. Some riders had the opportunity in the past to be HRC riders because it’s a big pressure and everybody knows it’s a difficult bike.

“But it’s in Hondas hands and my brother is proud. I speak to him and he is proud already. He would like to be a MotoGP rider, but then they need to find a way, but he is not the only rider who can be my teammate.”