Marquez convinced Ducati ordered Pirro to follow him

Marc Marquez is adamant that Ducati ordered its test rider Michele Pirro to follow him during qualifying for MotoGP’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Marquez convinced Ducati ordered Pirro to follow him

Honda rider Marquez scorched to his fourth pole position of the 2019 campaign on Saturday, benefitting from Andrea Dovizioso’s tow to beat Fabio Quartararo by two tenths of a second.

Explaining his strategy afterwards, Marquez said his change of tactic came after becoming convinced that wildcard Pirro, who progressed into Q2 out of Q1, had been instructed by his Ducati team to shadow the reigning champion.

“I immediately see that Pirro was following me all the time,” said Marquez. “It looks like Ducati said to Pirro [to follow Marquez].

“I say ok, second time it will be a different way, I will follow them, I did this kind of strategy and it works in a good way.

“Pirro was waiting for me, but Dovi was there also, and the laptime was perfect. I calculated in a good way the distance, I did a very good laptime.”

Pressed further on whether he really believed Pirro was copying his every move, Marquez replied: “[That] was my feeling. I go out, I go first like always, but Pirro was there.

“I slow down, Pirro was there. I go away, Pirro [goes] away. I did my lap, Pirro was behind me, the first time. Then I stop in the box, now I changed the strategy.

“I say ‘now I will follow them’, and that’s what I did. I was waiting, because Pirro was waiting. Then I say ‘now I wait for Dovi.’

“You play your cards. I saw Dovi was 12th [after the opening runs], so I say let’s follow him, because he needs to push to improve the laptime.”

Dovizioso: "No problem" with Marquez strategy

For his part, Dovizioso, who could do no better than ninth in Q2, said he had no qualms with Marquez choosing to follow him.

“I don't know, from that moment I saw him look [at] me and want to follow me,” said Dovizioso. “He did that but it’s not a big problem, he can do what he wants.

“I don't understand why he followed me but he did pole position, so he did right.”

Marquez predicts Dovizioso will have little trouble recovering to fight for the podium on Sunday despite his relatively lowly grid position.

“Tomorrow he will be there on the race,” said the reigning champion of Dovizioso. “I believe he can be on the podium without much difficulty.”

Marquez also said he has more or less recovered from the illness that was causing him difficulties during Friday's practice sessions.

"I feel much better. On Thursday I was destroyed, yesterday was still difficult, but today I feel better and tomorrow looks like will be even better.

"Looks like we are suffering more than at other circuits, but our main opponents for the championship are not so good. So time to breathe and take points for the championship."

Additional reporting by Matteo Nugnes

Pole sitter Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Pole sitter Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Lorenzo: Reluctant Honda needs changes despite Marquez form

Previous article

Lorenzo: Reluctant Honda needs changes despite Marquez form

Next article

Rossi qualifying doomed by "key moment" in FP3

Rossi qualifying doomed by "key moment" in FP3
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Italian GP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso , Michele Pirro , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Author Jamie Klein
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Prime

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement Prime

Why Lorenzo needs to ditch social media and enjoy retirement

OPINION: Jorge Lorenzo's status as one of the greatest MotoGP riders of all time is hard to dispute. But his constant social media spats with fellow riders and insistence on listing his achievements to his detractors are running the risk of tarnishing a legacy he worked hard to create.

MotoGP
Mar 20, 2021