Marc Marquez says he watched his start from the 2015 Mugello MotoGP race to inspire his launch from 13th to second on the opening lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Honda rider crashed heavily while trying to follow poleman Fabio Quartararo in Saturday’s qualifying and ended up 11th on the grid, which was his worst starting spot since he was 13th for the ’15 Italian GP.
At Mugello that day he went from 13th to fourth on the first lap, and managed to work his way to his eventual finishing place of second on Sunday at Sepang after the opening tour.
“Not only me, but [Andrea] Dovizoso was also very fast [off the line],” Marquez said when asked about his start.
“It was one of the best laps of my career. Mugello 2015 was also very good, and yesterday I watched what I did [in that race] and said ‘OK, I will try to repeat it’.
“And it was very perfect, the first lap.”
Marquez was immediately repassed by Pramac’s Jack Miller at Turn 1 at the start of lap two, and spent several tours behind the Ducati before making his decisive move.
But by this time, eventual winner Maverick Vinales was already over a second clear, with Marquez conceding even if he’d cleared Miller earlier catching the Yamaha was “not possible”.
“I lost some time with Miller in the second lap, but even with this Vinales today was faster than us,” added Marquez, whose second place netted him the record for most points scored in a season with 395.
“He deserved the victory, he rode in a very good way. I mean, I tried, but it was not possible. To start from 11th [and] again [get] the worst result of the season, second place, is incredible.”
When asked if clearing Miller earlier would have made a difference, he replied: “Jack always is doing the same thing.
“I mean, he’s pushing, he’s an incredible rider, but he’s burning the tyres the first three laps and he was braking very late, opening the gas like crazy.
“Of course, I was able to do [the same], but I thought I would crash or I would destroy the tyres. And then I said ‘OK, patience, take care of all these things.’
“But even like this, today Maverick was faster. We achieved our main goal, which was the podium, second place once more.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont