First chance for reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez to retain crown
Round 15 of this year’s MotoGP Championship, the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, sees Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez standing on the cusp of clinching his second, and consecutive, MotoGP title with the 21-year-old needing to take victory at the Twin Ring Motegi to see off teammate and main rival, Dani Pedrosa whom he currently leads by 75 points.
I know that in Japan it’s my first chance to take the Championship. I will try not to think about it too much.
Taking the title at Honda’s very own circuit is something sure to be at the front of Marquez’s mind as he prepares for this weekend’s race but with Pedrosa still in with a mathematical chance of wining the championship and fellow rivals, winner last time out Jorge Lorenzo and Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi both aiming for strong finishes to their individual seasons, the pressure is mounting on the Championship leader. There is also the high possibility of another wet race with Super Typhoon Vongfong set to hit Japan over the weekend.
However, Marquez was his normal confident self when speaking ahead getting into action this weekend despite his less than satisfactory result last time out. “Aragón was a difficult situation and we learnt a valuable lesson,” said Marquez who continued, “However, we were lucky that we didn’t lose points to our rivals and now I know that in Japan it’s my first chance to take the Championship. I will try not to think about it too much - even if I know it would be great to achieve this on Honda’s home soil.
We will go there and work hard from day one and treat it as a normal race weekend and push for the victory on Sunday. Last year was my first visit to Motegi on a MotoGP machine and it was a very difficult weekend, so we hope to have more dry track time this year to find a good setup!” Marquez added.
Aragon fall not denting Pedrosa’s spirits
Pedrosa was also reflective on his lowly finish at Aragon and is determined to achieve a strong finish this weekend. He said, “Obviously Aragon was a tough race and in the end I made the wrong choice not to come in earlier. Anyway, we have moved on and now I am focused on Motegi. I always enjoy travelling to Honda’s home race, it’s a big event for Honda and this always gives me extra motivation to perform well. The track has a lot of heavy braking and acceleration points, so a good setup is essential for the braking stability and to get good traction out of the corners. Let’s hope the weather is better than last year!”
Lorenzo on a high as Rossi nurses a sore head after Aragón crash
Lorenzo is still feeding off the buzz of winning on home soil and is looking forward to getting on track in Japan. First of all I would say it was a fantastic feeling to win at home in Aragón,” said Lorenzo who continued, “We were able to manage a difficult race and taste the first victory of the 2014 season, which was amazing after a disappointing start. We solved many problems during the weekend and did a great job on Sunday with the whole team.
Now we are traveling to Japan, a country I love for many reasons. I have great memories from last year, when we surprised everyone with a huge success in our rival’s home. Last year we won at Motegi and also achieved the 200th victory for Yamaha in front of the two Honda bikes. It was unbelievable! Hopefully we can repeat it this time with another perfect weekend,” Lorenzo added.
Rossi had a heavy fall in the race at Aragón and gave his head a heavy bump in the process and despite the crash he remains confident of a good result this weekend. He said, "Aragon was a very difficult race weekend but there were also many positive aspects. First, the bike was really ok on Sunday. I immediately felt good on the bike as soon as I arrived on the grid. In the firsts I was able to make good overtakes and stay with the top three riders. My team did a really good job. Another positive thing is that I have not done anything, apart from the big headache the next few days!
I feel very well and I look forward to the tripleheader overseas races because I am feeling better and better on the bike and the team are working really well. The fight for second place is getting interesting, we will try to achieve the best result possible! Japan is not one of my favorite tracks but also Aragon was not and still we went very well. We will see. It's Yamaha's home GP and we will do our best to get a good result!” Rossi added.