Is Marc Marquez back? It is probably still too early to say, but the Honda rider certainly managed to give a good show of strength today in Austin, taking his second win of the season, despite being still far from 100% in physical form. We certainly do not find out today that the Texan circuit is one of his main hunting grounds, given that for him it was the seventh success in eight editions of the Grand Prix of the Americas. Probably, however, no one would have expected to see him triumph in such a dominant way.
It is true that he may no longer have the edge over the competition he had in the past at COTA, but he still built a buffer of over four seconds on his pursuers, which in MotoGP is a really important gap. To do that, he had to manage his energy a lot over the course of the weekend, but in the end he was clearly very satisfied with the work he brought home.
“The Sachsenring was a bit of a gift, because what happened happened,” he told Sky Sport MotoGP HD about the help he received from the rain in his first seasonal success in Germany. “At Aragon I struggled more, but after Misano and after the test I told myself that I had to come here with the right mentality and push. I entered the track badly since Friday and I saw that I was going fast, but then I knew I would be had to manage Saturday in order not to get destroyed at the race “.
“Yesterday, for example, I was doing T1 slowly enough not to get too tired. This morning in the Warm-Up I pushed a little harder and the feeling was what I expected. In the race I managed to put myself first from the start. I was calm for the first three or four laps, then I changed my pace. I didn’t expect to be able to create such a big gap, but I wanted to open it because I knew that in the last five laps I would not be ready for a hand-to-hand duel yet “, he added.
Physically, he then admitted that he still needed to recover and that he realized it this weekend. But he knows it’s just a matter of being patient to get back into shape.
“Here at T1 I was very strong in the past, but this weekend I struggled more, because in the changes of direction I was always late and I couldn’t do them as I would have liked. Here I struggled, but the others did it too, because this is a very physical track. The problem is that I had the same effort at Misano as I did here, because I have to work twice as much in the right-hand corners. I am doing everything the doctor tells me, who also asks me to try not to crash too much. We are working and struggling, but struggling I won two races this year and made another podium. But I am not yet in the conditions I would like to fight for the championship next year “.
Then when asked if he is not in contention for the title even in 2022, he added: “Now I am not ready to fight for a championship and to win all the races. I have to work to be ready for next year. This is my mentality. Three races are missing: Misano will be difficult, but then I want to see what I will be able to do in the last two. “
In recent weeks there has also been much rumor of a further operation in sight. Rumors that Marc denied quite decisively, reiterating that it is only a matter of time for his complete recovery.
“There are many people talking, but if I had to have another operation I would be here with another face. I just have to work: this arm was stopped for a year and after three operations the mechanics of the arm and shoulder have changed. it takes time, because I had a check-up before Misano and the bone is not fully welded yet. A year has already passed, but the doctor tells me that I have to keep calm. “
Finally, he obviously hopes Austin can be part of the calendar next year as well, but stressed that it is vital that resurfacing is done for it to continue to be.
“I really like this circuit, but safety must always come first. Something has to be done from turn 2 to turn 10. So we are still at the limit, but if we come back and the situation is worse, then it would be too risky. But it is also true that Friday we struggled a lot, but then over the weekend we managed to adapt both in terms of set-up and driving, so it had become acceptable and also fun, because you knew that to go faster you had to risk something “, he concluded.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images