Márquez and Pedrosa finish fourth and fifth, respectively, in season opener

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Repsol Honda riders finish just off the podium in the first race of the season, which was delayed by 45 minutes and reduced by two laps because of rain.

Marc Marquez going fast
Márquez and Pedrosa finish fourth and fifth, respectively, in season opener

We were aware that we struggle a bit at this track


Marc Márquez


Off the start, Marc Márquez maintained his grid position of third, and Dani Pedrosa moved up a place into sixth.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion remained in the top three until Lap 12, when he dropped two positions on the same lap and was relegated fourth.

Dani Pedrosa, who had been down as low as eighth on Lap 4, repeated his position from a year ago -crossing the finish line in fifth.

Marc Márquez

We were aware that we struggle a bit at this track, but as always we kept a positive attitude, as we also knew that if everything was in place, we could have fought for the podium or even the victory. I think we worked well over the weekend, and we had everything clear for today. Our plan was to use the harder front compound, but the chaotic situation with the rain and the continuous delays created many doubts. In the end we decided to go with the medium front, aiming to reduce the risk of crashing, but this turned out to be our biggest mistake of the weekend. I struggled with the front the entire time; I couldn’t brake hard and after few laps the tyre was already wearing off. We continued to have some small issues with acceleration, but even so I had a good feeling with my bike. But with that tyre choice, I wasn’t able to gain on braking. That’s my strongest point, so I decided, okay let’s finish this race and Argentina will be another race.

Dani Pedrosa

It was a strange race from the beginning, due to these conditions with the rain and the delayed start. It was hard to remain focused during those moments. Then we did our best to manage the race, but we suffered a lot with the front tyre, which turned out to be too soft for us. We couldn’t push with the front and I think that all the Hondas had the same problems. Saving the tyre to make it last until the end was hard, and above all we weren’t able to push. Anyway, it’s just the first race; we must immediately concentrate on the next one, try to solve this issue and have a good race in Argentina.

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