Marc Marquez: 'My target was to follow Maverick Vinales' in Dutch TT
Marc Marquez reckons second was the best result he could have achieved in the Dutch TT at Assen, with his chances of victory ‘very small’.
Marquez, who started the race from fourth, made a bold tyre strategy to take a soft rear for the 26-lap encounter in order to try and compete with expected pace-setters Suzuki and Yamaha.
His cause was helped as early leader Alex Rins tucked the front of his GSX-RR into the gravel trap at Turn 9, while the second Suzuki of Joan Mir made a mistake at the penultimate corner just a couple of laps later, slipping to sixth.
While unable to hold back the factory M1 of Vinales, he snatched second from Fabio Quartararo late in the race and quickly pulled away. He backed off from attacking Vinales in the final couple of tours, dropping to just under five seconds behind at the chequered flag.
“Of course today if you saw the tire selection you already understood my race,” said Marquez.
“My race was not a mega strategy to win the race, if not for finishing the race on the podium.
“The reason for this was that the chance to win the race was very small, and I said we’ll try to be with the soft tyre and try to push and be there for around 15-20 laps and then just survive the last laps.
“As soon as Maverick overtook me I saw that he had better pace, and then I tried to use him to get away from the others.
“My target was just to follow him for 3-4 laps to extend the gap to Fabio and the other riders and then just manage the race towards the end.”
Marquez explained his struggles with the Honda at the fast Assen circuit, particularly in the second half of the lap which is made up mostly of high-speed sweepers that worked against him while battling the Yamaha’s.
“We have a very physical bike for this kind of circuit, this kind of track has very fast change of directions and maybe our bike is not so stable like the others and we have less grip in the really fast corners, it looks like the others are able to get grip in a really good way.
“But we did well and worked as a team well and most importantly we were on the podium, and at the last three tracks we struggle at we’ve got a second-first-second so I’m really happy about that.”