(Motorsport-Total.com) – Jack Miller (Ducati) and Marc Marquez (Honda) fought a close duel over the entire running distance at the Spanish Grand Prix. After 25 laps, Marquez was ahead with the crucial overtaking maneuver on the final lap. His fans on the hills around the Jerez circuit celebrated this fourth place as a victory.
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On lap 21, Marc Marquez almost fell at the Lorenzo corner
Three scenes were crucial in this duel. From the start, Miller was in third place, closely followed by Marquez. “I attacked from the start, but the two guys in front of me shifted a gear up from the fourth lap,” said the Australian.
His teammates Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) withdrew. Miller led the train with Marquez and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) in third place. It was the most exciting three-way match in the Grand Prix.
“Throughout the race, I struggled to keep my line in turn 5. I had too little confidence for the front tire,” Miller reports. “It cost me because Marc overtook me there. The right side of the tire gave up towards the end of the race.”
Why Marquez waited to maneuver against Miller
Marquez was glued to Ducati’s rear wheel and often made an attempt to overtake, but always withdrew. Then, on lap 21, he struck at turn 5 and passed Miller. “The key was to overtake Miller to stop Aleix because he was faster,” Marquez says.
“I wanted him [Jack] much earlier, but I wanted to find a place where I could overtake Jack while still leaving Aleix. “If I passed Jack at a brake point, he would have gone wide and Aleix would have passed.”
“You don’t usually overtake at turn 5. But I thought the podium might be possible. I wanted to push for it and defend at the same time, but unfortunately I made a mistake in the last corner.”
Marquez: “Spanish fans saved me”
Marquez was only briefly on a podium. When he braked for the goal basket (Jorge Lorenzo curve) at the same lap, he made the crucial mistake. “In the last turn, I went a little off the line and both tires slipped.”
“The Spanish fans saved me,” laughs Marquez. He could avoid the fall with his left knee and elbow. But inside, Espargaro slipped through. And after the home stretch, Miller also overtook in turn 1. So Marquez was only number five.
Espargaro quickly pulled away from the duo, who continued to fight hard for fourth place. “When Marc passed me,” Miller says, “I can see he had similar problems with the right flank of his front tire that I had.”
The decision came on the final lap at turn 8. “I did not expect that,” Miller admits, adding: “It was a stressful race when you keep watching +0 on Marquez on the pitboard. I did not try to make any mistakes “It was my pace today.”
Marquez admits his right arm is even weaker
Marquez set the stage for the race with his save in the goal corner. Haven’t seen it from him in a long time. Is that a sign that he’s “the old man” again? “The best sign would be if one saw such rescues in right turns,” he replies.
“I feel good and strong on the left, but I still have problems on the right. I still have a hard time riding, we also need to understand the bike better. I give everything. It does not matter if it is like in Portimao against my brother, or here against Miller. “
“Fourth place was maximum. I shared my strength all weekend because I am not yet able to give 100 percent all weekend. Last Friday I took it easy and yesterday gave more on individual laps. Today I gave everything.”
The triple MotoGP winner was pleased with fourth place in Jerez. For Marquez, the situation is realistic: “We do not yet have the speed to fight for the world championship. Two drivers are much faster than all of them. It is Fabio and ‘Pecco’.”
“But we are approaching. The test on Monday will be very important. We still have a lot to understand with this new bike. Adapting the bike to my riding style is not working. Now I am working on my riding style to be able to ride as best I can.”
“I’m struggling, but I can go through the race and get good results. In the past it would not have been a good result, but in the current situation it is a good position.” In the World Cup, Marquez is in ninth place, 45 points behind.