“This was a very special Sunday because everyone was racing for Angel Nieto.” Marc
With a third consecutive victory, Márquez increases his lead to 14 points over his nearest rival.
The race was declared wet but dried fast, and the Repsol Honda rider was the first to change bikes after the second lap.
Dani Pedrosa made the change on the fourth lap and moved from eighth to second position.
This is the second one-two for the Repsol Honda team this season, after Jerez, and the fifth race that both riders have shared a podium (Austin, Spain, Catalonia, Germany and Czech Republic).
This is the fourth victory for Márquez in a flag to flag race, after those achieved in the GPs in Holland in 2014, San Marino in 2015 and Germany in 2016.
This was a very special Sunday because everyone was racing for Angel Nieto, but it was also a very challenging race. On the grid, I took the risk to use the soft rear tyre because I thought it would give me extra grip for five laps before pitting to change bikes, but it didn’t go like that.
I soon started to struggle a lot and lost many positions. When I saw that, I decided to immediately get in and take the risk of the slicks. When I re-joined the race, honestly it was still too damp in some parts and I nearly crashed during the first lap out. When you go out for the flag-to-flag, it’s so difficult to get the feeling with the bike again, but I tried to quickly understand the grip.
Honestly, today I took some risks but it was one of those days when you just have to do it. After pulling a great gap, I just tried to manage, to ride well, and to finish the race. I’m really very happy with the result. It’s a track I normally struggle at, one I worry about every year, and getting 25 points was very important. Thanks to the team for another great job! We did the correct strategy during the summer break, coming here to test, and we arrived here prepared.
We’re improving step by step. The Championship is still very, very tight; we must be able to be fast in every condition.
This weekend we were competitive in all situations, yesterday in qualifying and today, with this podium. I’m really very happy with the performances and with how I felt on the bike. I’m generally feeling stronger than in the first part of the season. We must improve some details—today it was knowing the right lap to stop on, but we’ll learn from it.
Normally, when it’s still a bit wet and you have to switch to slicks you must be super focused and super committed. This is usually a strong point for Marc, as he’s always very good in these conditions; we have to be able to keep the same concentration in the future because these details are very important.
Anyway, thanks to the team and to Michelin for the amazing feeling I had on the bike. We lost five points to Marc on top but we recovered some on our other rivals. I think the strategy of the team to come test during the summer break was right, as it was good to have the bike setting, especially at this track.
We also improved on some little details of the bike and now I feel more comfortable going into the second part of the season. Now we have to not focus too much on the Championship and just concentrate and perform well at every race.