Marc Marquez attacked without worrying about his arm at Motegi on Friday and started to hurt late in the session. His conclusion: you will have to know how to manage your effort in the race.
Comments from Marc Marquez’s press briefing at Motegi this Friday.
The Japanese Grand Prix takes place under special conditions. A free practice session, that of Friday, was canceled to give additional time for transport and installation in the paddock, which went from the desert of MotorLand Aragon to the infrastructure of Motegi in less than five days. This means that the passages in Q2 will be defined in just two sessions. And with the rain expected in FP2 on Saturday morning, this Friday’s FP1 became crucial.
Marc Marquez therefore attacked from the outset, putting in the background his concerns about the state of his right arm, 112 days after his operation. It also allowed him to test his physical condition. His conclusion, after 26 laps completed in six runs, is that it will not be possible for him to hold the entire Grand Prix at 100% on Sunday.
“I feel pretty good. As there is only one session of 1h15 and tomorrow it should rain, I immediately attacked. I wasn’t thinking about my physical condition, I was just giving it my all and feeling it. I feel it because I started to have pain at the end of the session, but we understood before the weekend that it would be a difficult circuit. I understood today that it will be difficult to push all the time on the race distance, maybe for the race I should slow down a bit”he said after the session.
If he still has muscular difficulty, the eight-time world champion still got away with it with the sixth fastest time, just 147 thousandths from the leader. Last winner on this track, in 2019, he gauges the evolution of the prototypes and feels, like everyone else, big changes in barely three years.
“The feeling is that the circuit is getting narrower and smallerhe comments. The power you put from bend to bend with the holeshot device… Here we activate it 5 times, that’s a lot. We go faster and faster and slow down later and later. That’s why we go wide, and that from the first laps we were very fast. It’s normal. »
His teammate Pol Espargaro, seventh, said he did not understand why he is also this Friday, he who is less and less used to being in the top-10. Marc Marquez has the explanation: “At the Misano, Mandalika, Sepang test, we are on the track for a long time so there is rubber, grip, and the clock is there. Especially for Pol who struggles when there is no grip and it slips, like in Aragon. With this bike the time depends on the grip at the rear because you can’t do anything with the front. Here there is more grip, and in addition it is a ‘stop and go’ circuit where there is no need for cornering speed, which is our weak point. »
Showers in FP2, Saturday morning, would ensure a direct qualification in Q2, without having to go through the exercise of Q1. It would be a first since the French Grand Prix in mid-May.
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