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No extra pressure to deliver at Le Mans, says Marquez

Marc Marquez

Bengaluru, May 17: MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is not placing any extra emphasis on the French Grand Prix on Sunday (May 19) ahead of upcoming races in Italy and Catalonia.

Victory in Jerez last time out ensured Marquez, who is bidding to win a fourth successive world title and sixth overall, leads the FIM MotoGP World Championship standings by one point ahead of Alex Rins after four rounds.

Marquez won at Le Mans last year but will know that he has struggled in the next two races on the calendar - at the Mugello Circuit in Italy and in Montmelo, Barcelona.

The Spanish rider has not won at either track since the 2014 season, yet he is not putting himself under undue pressure to deliver in France as a result.

"Last year Dovi here was very, very fast," he told a news conference.

"In the end he did a mistake in the race but during the weekend he was fast. Yamaha riders were very fast two years ago so you never know here in Le Mans.

"Mugello and Montmelo, I will say more than Ducati circuits, they were Lorenzo circuits. He was very fast there.

"But now we are in Le Mans, we will try to concentrate, we will try to find a way to be fast and this year we have a different kind of bike so it's important to understand how it's working on a different circuit."

While Marquez appears to have quickly adapted to his new Repsol Honda, two fellow Honda stablemates, Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, who had a pit stop in Paris, have found it more difficult.

LCR Honda's Crutchlow, who has nine points fewer than the same stage of last year, said what he is riding feels "absolute nothing like last year's bike", while Marquez's team-mate and three-time world champion Lorenzo has not finished higher than 12th in the four races.

"All of the riders have a little bit of a different feeling and sometimes different direction," Marquez added.

"Now, one of the most important things for us is that all three - me, Carl and Jorge - we are going in the same direction with more or less the same set-up, so this is positive for Honda because it's easier to understand the way to improve.

"It's true that with the new bike... it's like always, when you get more torque, more power, the bike is turning less and it's getting more difficult to ride.

"People say, 'Suzuki is turning very good' but then they have less torque on the straight. It's trying to find the correct balance.

"It's true that with the new bike we have more torque, it's more difficult in other areas, but at the moment we are able to manage in a good way."

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Friday, May 17, 2019, 15:30 [IST]
Other articles published on May 17, 2019
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