Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso had another fighting weekend in MotoGP as they battled for the win until last corner in the Thai GP last weekend.
The four-time world MotoGP champion Marquez is inching closer on winning his fifth title and wishes that he has the chance to do it in Japanese GP at Twin Ring Motegi – the home grand prix of Honda.
“I felt in the Japanese staff during all weekend [in Thailand] that they had special motivation to have the first win here in front our big boss,” said Márquez. “Here in Thailand, I was pushing a lot, they [Honda] were pushing a lot during all weekend.
“If we want to have a chance to win the championship in Motegi we need to improve in two-three areas because Ducati were very strong. I was behind Dovi a lot of laps here and I saw they are very strong in few points.”
Dovizioso, on the other hand, left Thailand happy despite not getting the win. He scored his fifth consecutive podium and Ducati continued to show that the bike can be adapted to all the tracks on the calendar.
“It was a bit better than what we expected, because the speed was there and we had a very good grip,” he said. “In this kind of race, in this kind of track, where the degradation is very high – even more than Aragon – in the past we couldn’t finish the race.
“We couldn’t even try to make the podium or fight for the victory. So, I think that we have another big step, bigger than Aragon.” The Ducati rider knows that he has nothing to do in the title fight this season and so the focus is on 2019.
“Obviously, the championship is lost. We are racing for developing the bike for next season. We must improve if we want fight for the championship next year.” Last year Japan GP, Márquez and Dovizioso also fought for the victory until last corner in rain.
Both riders now await to re-create a new fight at Motegi, but still keeping a good personal relationship of mutual respect. They don’t want generate controversy about their on track rivalry.
“Already last year and this year we have a very great battles,” said Marquez. “It’s nice because always the battles arrive until last corner and even always I try to give everything until last meter but Dovi also the same.
“This is the good way, always we have respect. We have different riding style, different bikes and he have a very strong points, I have another strong points and this allows a healthy rivalry.
Dovizioso added: “Is not easy. We are on the limit and it is easy to make a mistake or to be more aggressive than what you have to do, but I was always clean. I am not that kind of rider that create a problem.
“I can be aggressive but not over and it’s good when the races like this. A lot of overtaking in safe way and I want it to continue like this.”