|Marquez lived up to expectation in Qatar
Photo: Repsol Honda
2013 rookie Marc Marquez stunned the paddock after finishing on the podium in his first ever MotoGP race under the floodlights in Qatar.
The Repsol Honda rider had a strong start to the weekend, finishing combined free practice in first position ahead of strong rivals. The new qualifying format caught the young Spaniard out, claiming that a shorter amount of track time wasn’t enough for him to be fast and he started the race from the back of the second row.
Marquez got a bad start but was up with the leaders by lap three. He was then locked in a battle for second position with teammate Dani Pedrosa and Brit Cal Crutchlow. For the final four laps of the race, Marc was locked in battle with nine time world champion Valentino Rossi for second position, eventually losing out to the Italian.
Marc said “To tell the truth, I was pretty nervous on the grid, because it was my first MotoGP race. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous before. I found it hard to keep calm and I wasn’t as focused as in Moto2. However, I regained my concentration at the last moment. The start was important and we knew that we were taking off from the dirty part of the track. I didn’t get off well, but I was able to attack on the opening laps and overtake many riders. I think that this was the key. When I rode behind Dani I learnt a lot, also later on with Valentino. Fighting against him is always nice to watch, but it’s always tough at the same time. Valentino was a tough rival to overtake on the final laps. He beat us this time, but we hope to learn from him and from everyone who went faster than us”