MotoGP World Champion elect Marc Marquez believes he can still wrap up his fifth title at the first time of asking despite starting from the second row of the grid tomorrow in Motegi.
The Spaniard qualified in sixth position, nearly three tenths off pole man Andrea Dovizioso on his factory Ducati. Despite starting off of the front row for just the sixth time this year, Marquez is confident he will be fighting at the front tomorrow.
“We know that our race pace is good for tomorrow, we’re happy with that,” said Marquez who will be crowned World Champion with a victory to go along with being crowned at Honda’s home in Japan back in 2014 and 2016.
“We will try to start well and then we will see where we are at the end of the first lap. From then on I will try and manage the race well, with the target of getting on the podium and, if possible, fighting for the victory.”
Marquez had a fast crash at the end of FP4 and subsequently wrote his first RC213V off for qualifying meaning he only had his second bike available during qualifying. Marquez attributed the set up on the second Repsol Honda to his second row start.
“In FP4 I crashed on the bike that I was feeling very strong and constant with,” he said.
“My second bike had quite a different set-up and I didn’t like that as much. We had no time to change it, so I started qualifying expecting to struggle a bit.”