MotoGP Honda's Marc Marquez: 'These twenty points feel like a victory' at Mugello

Marc Marquez was delighted with second place in the Italian grand prix at Mugello, describing his result as “like a victory”.

Marquez, who started the race from pole, has historically struggled at the Italian venue, having tasted victory just once in his premier class career so far, back in 2014 when he won the first ten races in succession on the way to his second MotoGP title.

The Honda pilot said after the race he knew early on in the race that “today wasn’t the day”, so decided to try and bank solid points for his title challenge.

Despite this cautious approach, the Spaniard finished less than half-a-tenth behind race winner Danilo Petrucci’s Ducati and crucially ahead of championship rival Andrea Dovizioso, meaning he extends his overall points advantage to 12 over the Italian.

“I started well, I tried to push like in other races but I saw that immediately today wasn’t the day (to win),” explained Marquez.

“When you don’t feel you can win it’s time to do a championship race. That’s what I did I just followed both Ducati’s and tried to concentrate on saving the tyres and attack later.

“Then when I saw that Danilo was first and me second I said no this is the target. The target was to finish in front of Dovi and to get more points in the championship.

“We did it, and step by step we are increasingly the points lead.

“I was not thinking to attack him (Petrucci), because if I attacked him and we both went wide, Dovi would have won the race, so this wasn’t a good strategy.”

While not seriously attacking Petrucci on the final lap, Marquez decided he would at least have one final attempt on the run to the line, once he had covered off any possible attack from the chasing Dovizioso.

“So then I stated to say maybe today it’s not possible, so I went on a defensive line to just try and defend from Dovi and see where we are with the slipstream on the final straight.

“I was a little bit too far behind because Danilo was better through the last chicane, so today was not the day. Its like a victory these 20 points.”