·@NickyHayden: “it’s been a pleasure to come back on the Repsol Honda Team”
Marc Marquez’ record of being the only rider in the World Championship to score points at every race came to an end at the Australian Grand Prix, as the Repsol Honda Team rider crashed out at Phillip Island. The Spaniard had been first on the opening corners and established a solid lead, but a mistake at Turn 4 on Lap 10 brought his race to an early conclusion. Running wide under braking, Marquez tried to maintain his line, losing grip and hitting the ground.
Teammate Nicky Hayden rode in the group battling for seventh. Two laps before the chequered flag, another rider collided with him on entry to Turn 4, and the American fell. He picked his bike up to finish seventeenth.
“First of all I want to say sorry to my team because I made a mistake today. We were doing everything perfectly, and we were just missing capping it with a result on Sunday. If I had been fighting for the title it would’ve been an entirely different race, as I wouldn’t have risked so much. Today I started strong because I knew I had to make a difference at the beginning. I was maintaining the distance, but at one of the hard braking points I braked too late and instead of taking a wider line, which is what I had been doing throughout the year, I tried to keep going. In such cases the limit is a fine one. We remain happy of course because we had already won the title but of course we wanted to win more races. It was completely my mistake; during the whole season I’ve been very careful on the braking points and this time I risked more so this crash has nothing to do with the Michelin tyres. Now we have another race next week, and we’ll just think about that. Congratulations to Cal for his great victory”.
“It’s been a very challenging weekend with so many changes of conditions but finally we at least got a few laps in the dry in the warm-up. At the beginning of the race it was a little bit tough to get my rhythm but as it went on I started feeling better and better. I was in a group fighting for seventh position and I was quite enjoying the battle. Everybody was going back and forth and I felt good. I felt like I had the best tyres left in that group and that I could win that battle… but then in the Honda hairpin, Jack knocked me down. That’s racing. I didn’t actually see him, I just felt him when it was too late to do anything. But that’s racing, especially in a group like that, where it makes a big difference winning the battle and getting seventh or losing it and finishing out the top 10. After qualifying seventh on the grid and having not ridden the bike until Friday morning, seventh place would’ve been a very respectable result. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed the weekend; it’s been a pleasure to come back on the Repsol Honda Team and ride this bike again. It was awesome and I feel I did a decent job. I just would’ve liked to finish it off with a good result”.