The Australian Grand Prix provided another exciting race in the 2019 season, decided on the last lap by a pass from World Champion Marc Márquez. Alberto Puig, Repsol Honda Team manager, analysed the strategy used by his rider over the weekend, as Márquez claimed his eleventh win of the season against stiff opposition.
[Question] What was the strategy for the Phillip Island race?
[A] The strategy was not to lose a lot of time in the first laps because we knew that Viñales and the Yamaha were very fast when left alone. Marc [Márquez] did not make a great start but immediately he pushed hard to catch up. Then, as Viñales tried to pull away, Marc needed to follow him and that’s exactly what he was able to do.
The tire choice was focused more on the beginning of the race, where we knew it could help us, but then at the end the tire started to drop a little bit. Márquez was able to race behind the Yamaha, understand the opportunities to pass and their different areas of strength. Finally, Marc was able to find the perfect point to overtake and kept his move until the last lap.
Honda has had many great riders in the history of racing, now Marc is among the top ones and with a long way to go, he is only 26 so there is still a lot to come. This company will forever remember all he has done in these years and in the years to come. It wasn’t easy to win on Sunday. Yamaha had fantastic pace the whole weekend, but our rider was super focused and refused to give up.
[Q] Positives points and negatives points after the race?
[A] The positive point is clearly the victory. The negative point in Phillip Island was the situation and result of Jorge Lorenzo.
[Q] The view from pit wall during the race?
[A] It was more or less as we expected, but just from behind. Márquez is Márquez, when you have 27 laps with your board showing “Márquez +0”, it’s a disaster.
[Q] The weather was changeable all weekend in Australia.
[A] The weekend was a bit crazy because of the weather conditions with rain and heavy wind every day, especially on Saturday. Well, it was the same for all teams and we had to accept it and work with what was available. We reacted in the moment and we couldn’t have done anything more to be ready.
Now we are going to Malaysia, where our goal is, as always, to try to make the best result in the race; that is win. We know that the competitors are fast, but Márquez will try again.
[Q] And Team Championship is still open and only 1 point difference.
[A] It’s difficult this year with this championship. It would be good to win all three championships, the Triple Crown, for all the Repsol Honda Team. Marc is trying very hard to achieve this and it would be amazing if we win this title this season under these circumstances.