Marc Marquez says the crash that cost him a shot at pole position for MotoGP’s Aragon Grand Prix was simply a consequence of pushing too hard.
The Honda rider had been firmly in contention for his fifth consecutive pole position at the Spanish venue until the closing minutes of qualifying, when he fell on entry to the Turn 12 left-hander.
At that point, Marquez had been on provisional pole, but the incident meant he slipped to fifth by the time of the chequered flag, as Maverick Vinales took pole instead.
Explaining the incident afterwards, Marquez conceded he had just been pushing too hard and that the fact he had approached Turn 12 slightly wide caught him out.
“Of course I’m not happy today because it was my mistake,” said Marquez. “I tried to be faster than what I feel [comfortable doing], pushing what I think will be enough to be battling for pole.
“But I pushed too much, and on that braking point I was a little bit wide but I tried to go in [the corner] anyway.
“It was my mistake, for tomorrow we know in that corner we need to be careful.”
Asked if he felt starting from the middle of the second row will pose him problems on Sunday, he added: “We will see. I think tomorrow in the warm-up everybody will improve.
“At the moment the favourite is Maverick, he’s on pole and he’s fast, but tomorrow we try to improve.
“The race will be long and really difficult what will be the pace. But I start fifth, I think it’s important to understand the track, the limits.
“Last year I started on pole but after three laps I was [fifth] because of a mistake.”
Despite his crash, Marquez was still satisfied to have improved his feeling aboard his Honda after struggling for confidence in the morning, despite being fastest.
“We were a little bit unlucky from FP3, I was fast but I didn’t have the feeling with the bike and the set-up was not working as we expect,” he explained.
“We made a few big changes for the afternoon, then I felt better, easier to keep the pace. Tomorrow the tyre [choice] will be a question mark, especially the rear tyre.
“Another thing is that from new tyre to used tyre might change a lot. The tyres are dropping quite a lot and there it is more difficult to understand.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont