Marquez calls Honda podium ‘super strange’ amid Ducati links

Marc Marquez finished on the podium in Japan. Image: Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez finished on the podium in Japan. Image: Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez claimed his first Sunday MotoGP podium of the season at the home of Honda at Motegi in Japan amid continued links to Gresini Ducati for 2024.

The six-time premier class world champion was third in the red-flagged race behind Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia, with the result declared based on positions at the end of Lap 12 due to worsening weather conditions.

Marquez, who was the fastest rider on the track and closing quickly on the two leaders when the stoppage occurred, admitted his podium in Honda’s backyard – his first since Phillip Island in 2022 – was a ‘super strange’ feeling under the circumstances.

“It’s super strange, the situation especially for me is not easy but my commitment is 100 percent,” said the Repsol Honda rider.

“I’m very thankful to Honda because they support me a lot and we have a very good relationship; this is very important and for that reason my full commitment is there and I push my 100 percent every time I go out on track.”

Marquez said he felt his way into the race in the beginning, when he held off until the track became more wet to avoid destroying his tyres.

“I enjoyed. It’s true that at the beginning of the race I was very calm, just tried to understand the tyres because I knew that the race was very long,” he said.

“In the beginning it was dry and if you pushed then, you destroy the tyre and if the rain arrived you would lose a lot of time.

“So, I was very calm and then when I saw there was water on the track I started to attack. I was increasing the speed step-by-step, but Race Direction did a good job because they stopped the race at the correct time.

“There was too much water on the race track and also the light was not there, so for me it was okay to restart the race because we would have a big chance of victory, but they did a perfect job so congrats to the guys in front of me,” added Marquez, who was third in the Sprint race last weekend in India.

“Even before the red flag I put the hand up because it was too dangerous, a lot of aquaplaning.

“In the beginning the feeling was not there, so I said ‘Okay, be patient’. When there was more water on the track I started to attack, I started to ride in a good way and overtake riders, and the pace was there.”

Marquez moved ahead of Spanish motorcycling great Angel Nieto as he sealed his 140th podium across all Grand Prix classes.

The 30-year-old credited Nieto with raising the popularity of Grand Prix motorcycling in Spain.

“It’s super nice and I didn’t know,” he said.

“Angel was a very good friend and one who opened motorbikes and brought the MotoGP at that time in Spain, so he was a very good guy inside and outside the track.”

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