Marc Marquez says he found it “tough to focus” in the Americas Grand Prix due to memories of crashing from the lead of the last race at the venue in 2019.
The Honda rider dominated at the Circuit of the Americas to claim his seventh win in eight starts at the track by 4.6 seconds over series leader Fabio Quartararo having taken the lead at the opening bend from pole-man Francesco Bagnaia.
Having held firm ahead of Quartararo in the opening laps, Marquez pulled the pin just past half-a-dozen tours at the rate of around half-a-second per circulation to put himself well out of reach of his pursuers.
The six-time premier class champion admitted though that his demise in the 2019 edition of the race-when he crashed at Turn 12 due to a mechanical issue while leading-played on his mind as the race approached its climactic point, revealing that he was “trying not to go too much on the brakes” into the bend that ended his winning streak that stretched all the way back to the inaugral event in 2013 nearly three years ago.
“It was the perfect race, one that I will dream about tonight!” said Marquez after scoring his second win of 2021.
“It was my plan to lead the race from the beginning because the first laps were my weak point, so for the first four or five laps I tried to slow the race.
“When I felt strong I started to push, around half-a-second faster (than previous laps) and this allowed me to open a gap.
“It was tough to focus as with three laps to go I nearly crashed at Turn 6 because I lost the front, these kinds of circuits you always have to focus, especially at Turn 12 I was trying to not go too much on the brakes because I had the image of 2019 (crashing from the lead with braking issue.)
“I believed after warm-up that (Fabio) Quartararo was able to follow me, but here when you follow someone it’s difficult to stop the bike and on my own I could ride fast and consistent.
“I managed the race from the start until the end and its true my physical condition started to drop, but I think it was the same for everybody.
“I think the main difference with this circuit is that even though I suffered, the others suffered too whereas at others I suffer like I did here but the others suffer a lot less.”
Marquez added that bumpy tarmac coating the COTA circuit-a subject that drew great ire from riders across all three classes throughout the weekend-also made for a tricky race, the Spaniard explaining that his RC213-V began to shake more violently the slower he rode.
“I’m happy because it’s been a very hard season, sometimes I crash and don’t understand, sometimes I’m fast and don’t understand but I was looking for this victory because this is maybe the last circuit with the conditions to win (in 2021),” continued Marquez.
“My intention is to be strong, not as much as here, but to be on the podium in the last three races and be consistent.
“Today the left arm was working harder, especially in some of the braking points, but this is the one that is working well so I was able to be consistent.
“The bumps were tricky, the problem is if you slow down the bike starts to shake even more and for example on the last lap I looked stupid because I was riding slow and bike was moving around so much and I was like ‘what’s going on.’”