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Motegi set for a showdown


Bengaluru, October 18: Ahead of track action at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, the pre-event press conference gathered together newly-crowned FIM champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and home hero Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) to talk about the weekend ahead, with the pressure off for some and ramping up for others.

Marquez spoke first, and first on the agenda was, of course, the title and his celebrations.

"It was a nice celebration in Bangkok with the team we stayed one night and celebrated in the proper way and then when I arrived home I celebrated with my friends and family but of course I didn't forget to prepare for these three races, I prepared in another way but I feel good, more relaxed but the mentality is the same as Thailand.

We'll try to work hard to win on Sunday and that's the mentality for the last four races to try and prepare for 2020 in the best way," the Spaniard said.

Tune in for another awesome race on Sunday (October 20) at 3pm local time (11.30am IST)

Key threat

Key threat

And Motegi? The man sat just to his right could be a key threat...

"With Dovi last year it was a nice fight here, unlucky for him he crashed but he will be fast, and it's one of the circuits where he rides really well. And for Fabio it's one of his favourite circuits and he's showed his level and performance. He's riding very fast but we won't forget Vinales and Rins, all of these riders will be really fast."

More speed

More speed

Next then, it was time to hear from that very same Dovizioso, who debriefed Thailand first.

"We tried during the weekend to improve our speed in the last two sectors but we couldn't be fast enough. Here I expect us to be strong and our bike to work very well, there's a lot of stop and go, but in some corners where we need more speed we struggle compared to the competitor."

Aiming high

Aiming high

Quartararo, meanwhile, is also aiming high at Motegi, and he's not looking at the track on paper either.

"I think this year a lot of the time I've heard the Yamahas don't go well at tracks like Austria but we managed to get on the podium so honestly now I don't think about Yamaha track or Honda track, I just need to focus on this weekend, it's a track I love. We need to do our best and like during all races step by step."

Home hero

Home hero

Finally, it was time to hear from Nakagami. The home hero has already made a few headlines with a contract extension and the news he's going to miss the last few rounds of the season for shoulder surgery.

"We announced the positive and negative news. Postive as you know next season I renewed my contract with LCR Honda and I'm really happy with LCR Honda and HRC. And the negative news is my injury. For me it's a hard decision, I'll miss the last three races and of course I wanted to finish the season but now it's quite impossible."

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Friday, October 18, 2019, 16:27 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 18, 2019
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