until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Apologetic Marquez at his second-lowest point in MotoGP

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marc Marquez has acknowledged that his and Honda’s current predicament in MotoGP is his lowest point mentally aside from his career-altering 2020 injury.

Marquez is riding hurt this weekend – with injuries to his ankle, thumb and rib – and followed a difficult Friday practice with a messy and slow Saturday outing.

He crashed into Enea Bastianini in the first segment of qualifying – something Marquez has accepted responsibility for – and was consigned to an 17th-place start. This remarkably turned into 11th place on the opening lap, but he went steadily backwards from there on.

The six-time champion finished the race 17th, 19.916 seconds behind winner Marco Bezzecchi, equating to a laptime loss of 1.5s per lap.

When asked by Spanish broadcaster DAZN about his current predicament, Marquez said: “On a mental level, it is the hardest moment of my career.”

Marc Marquez

He then swiftly corrected himself by adding: “Aside from the injury.”

Marquez remains on a surreal 15 points in the standings, which equates to 19th place – although it is remarkably still 75% of the factory Honda team’s full points tally.

And Marquez acknowledged to print media that his mindset of just reaching the finish without aggravating his injuries came through in the sprint.

“This weekend I set up the electronics to be safe, to ride in a safe mode,” said Marquez, who was thrown off the bike on what he felt was a very reserved lap in warm-up at the Sachsenring last weekend.

“And today as you see I chose the soft [front tyre] option, because it’s the one that gives me the feedback.”

Not a single other rider elected to run the soft front.

“It’s performing less – OK, but it’s the one that gives me better feedback. For that reason I was racing with that tyre. It was too soft, yes. But was my decision.”

Bastianini collision

Marc Marquez

However, Marquez had already crashed and exacerbated his rib pain in qualifying, when he was following Bastianini on the outside of Turn 4 during an aborted lap, didn’t notice how much Bastianini had reduced his speed, and clattered into the back of the Ducati rider.

Both Honda and Bastianini himself confirmed Marquez had sought out the Italian immediately after qualifying to apologise.

“In Turn 1 I lost the front and Marc was behind me and closed the throttle. And in Turn 4 I saw the other riders coming from behind and I made space, I was outside, Marc was watching behind and brought [hit] me,” Bastianini said.

“But it can happen. It’s MotoGP, it’s like this. After qualifying he came to my motorhome to say sorry. Nothing [more to say].”

“It’s like on the street,” said Marquez. “The one that’s hitting from the rear made the mistake.

“I was very relaxed all day, not pushing more than what I felt. Unfortunately, in Spain we say, it’s raining on the wet [when it rains, it pours]. You know?

“Unfortunately I had 100 times that situation, or 1000 times that situation.

“And this time here, when I was looking behind to not disturb the other riders, Enea closed gas and I didn’t see. But yeah. I already visited him on his motorhome, everything OK.”

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