Marquez: Second-row start for French MotoGP is "best dream"

Honda’s Marc Marquez says he isn’t bitter about losing a potential MotoGP pole for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, as the top two rows were his “best dream”.

Marquez: Second-row start for French MotoGP is "best dream"
Listen to this article

The six-time world champion was on course to claim a sensational pole for the first time since 2019, having gone top in the closing moments of a chaotic qualifying session just as rain began to fall.

But the returning Spaniard - who sat out the entirety of last year and missed the first two races of 2021 while he recovered from arm injuries sustained in the 2020 season-opening Spanish GP - would be shuffled back to sixth after a flurry of late improvements for poleman Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales, Jack Miller, Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco.

Typically strong in unpredictable conditions, Marquez admits he still doesn’t feel “comfortable” when his Honda moves aggressively but isn’t convinced having one final lap would have regained him pole.

“Yeah, it’s true on the mix conditions and trying to adapt as quick as possible to the conditions on track is one of my strong points, was one of my strong points and still now I feel comfortable,” he said.

“It’s true that for example on slicks, if there’s some wet parts I don’t feel comfortable like in the past because if I have some aggressive movement on the bike still I cannot control like I want and there I feel a little bit – not completely unsafe – but I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel like it’s completely in my hands.

“But apart from that, yes, today I feel good in FP4, I feel good in the quali. It’s a shame because I was the first rider to take the chequered flag and I needed one more lap, but I’m very happy.

“It’s not an excuse because even like this it was difficult to improve the lap times. So, what I did was correct for me, for our team.

“The first two rows was the best result, was the best dream. So, we are there for tomorrow."

Read Also:

Teammate Pol Espargaro was also on course for a shot at pole on his final lap, having blitzed through the first sector.

But he crashed at La Chapelle and was consigned to eighth, and admitted the disappointment was “killing me” as his pace in all conditions has been so strong.

“I’m pissed off with myself because today we were aiming for the pole position or the front row at least,” Espargaro said.

“The T1 [Sector 1] was amazing, was under three tenths faster than Fabio and three tenths faster than Jack and they are both on the first row.

“It’s painful because I feel I could do it. I’m pissed off because I knew at Jerez the chance for me was very low, but here I had a huge chance to be in an amazing position.

“I was waiting till the end to make the last push and two or three laps to the end it started to rain and the I slowed down. I’m sure I slowed down too much and then I was asking too much in corner six.

“It’s painful to know that I am one of the fastest but I’m starting in eighth position and the third Honda. This is killing me.”

shares
comments

Related video

Rossi "too conservative" on final French MotoGP qualifying lap
Previous article

Rossi "too conservative" on final French MotoGP qualifying lap

Next article

Quartararo ‘won’t be first for long’ if French GP wet

Quartararo ‘won’t be first for long’ if French GP wet
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future Prime

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022