Wednesday, 12 October 2016

MotoGP Japan: Marquez: 'Give up as few points as possible'

MotoGP champion elect Marc Marquez is approaching this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix with a different mentality to Aragon. 

The Repsol Honda star, who won his first race since July in front of his home fans, technically has the chance to become a triple MotoGP champion on Sunday. 

However, with three more rounds remaining after this weekend, the feat is not yet in his own hands. 

With a 52-point lead over Valentino Rossi and 66-point advantage over the other Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo, Marquez would not only need to win at Motegi - something he is yet to do in the premier-class - but hope Rossi finishes no higher than 15th and Lorenzo outside the top four. 

Given his past record at the circuit, Marquez admits he is prepared to adopt a damage limitation strategy - losing as few points as possible to the Yamaha riders this weekend. 

"The Japanese Grand Prix is an important appointment for us as it is Honda's home race and one where we have great memories, as we clinched the title in 2014. On the other hand, it's a circuit that has always been a bit challenging for us," Marquez said. 

"So for example, if Aragon was a track that I marked for attacking, Motegi is one that I marked for giving up as few points as possible. That said, we'll approach it with an open mentality, aiming for the best result possible but ready to adapt to the circumstances.” 

Team-mate Dani Pedrosa is a triple MotoGP race winner at Motegi, including last year's wet race, and is currently just six points ahead of Suzuki's Maverick Vinales in the fight for fourth in the world championship. 

“Motegi is one of my favourite tracks, and in addition to the fact that it's Honda's home circuit, I've had good results there," he said. 

"Clearly, we want to get the best result possible in front of our Japanese fans, but we must arrive there and start working on the bike and the tyres to understand if we'll be able to be as competitive as we have been lately. 

"At this moment, the most important thing is to find the best combination between the tyres and the bike, with myself also in the formula of course, to try and start to go well beginning Friday.” 

Motegi is the first of four remaining races, being following in successive weekends by Phillip Island and Sepang - crash

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