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Marquez “angry with myself” after Le Mans MotoGP Q1 exit

Marc Marquez says he is “angry with myself” for qualifying a lowly 13th at the MotoGP French Grand Prix as he was “not convinced” on the Ducati to be fast.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The eight-time world champion endured a difficult French GP weekend on the Gresini-run Ducati prior to Saturday’s 13-lap sprint.

Out of the Q2 places after Friday’s running, Marquez was knocked out of Q1 in qualifying and starts 13th for both races at Le Mans.

Despite this, he was able to launch his way up to fifth off the line in Saturday’s 13-lap sprint and went on to finish second having made an improvement with bike set-up.

Speaking about his qualifying, Marquez said: “Q1. I’m angry with myself because I was not convinced in Q1.

“Yesterday, we did a mistake together with the team, taking a lot of risks going in a different direction in the set-up of both bikes for the practice and we were out of that Q2.

“And then in Q1, I was not convinced.”

Marquez suffered a huge scare going through the fast Turns 1/2 right-hander late in Q1 when he lost the front while chasing Ducati’s Enea Bastianini – the Spaniard avoiding a big incident.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He says this was down to him feeling “uncomfortable” riding in a tow on qualifying laps on the Ducati and says this, rather than any late yellow flags for crashes, was the main reason for his Q1 exit.

“In that first corner, and I say to you in the past, behind somebody on this bike I feel more uncomfortable,” he explained.

“And is exactly what happened. I learned about it. I could say later that yellow flags [hindered me].

“But that was not the reason. The reason was my mistake.

“That moment [at Turn 2], one time I was looking at the wall. But luckily [Jack] Miller crashed before a few years ago and there was a run-off area [installed] but without that run-off area it was a dangerous moment.”

On the opening lap of the sprint, Marquez went from 13th to fifth after the first few corners and overtook Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales for fourth at Turn 11.

While acknowledging how good his launch of the line was, it was the pace afterwards as he closed down second-placed Marco Bezzecchi before the VR46 rider crashed that made him happiest.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“On the actual MotoGP, yes, because now with all the holeshot devices and all these things it’s super difficult to make the difference on the start because every rider, every manufacturer starts in a good way,” he said when asked if that was his best start ever.

“But yeah, it’s true that it was a good start – a combination of concentration, luck, risk, instinct.

“This is what the people speak more [about] but for me the most important thing was the pace after that.

“The pace after that was something that was not there all weekend, and in the sprint race I was able to ride in a constant way, in a good way, and this makes me happier even if I finished fourth or fifth.”

On the gains made with the bike, Marquez added: “It was coming back to our base and then of course understanding where the other Ducatis were, especially [Jorge] Martin and [Francesco] Bagnaia, what they were doing here in this race track.

“We go a bit on that direction and we adjusted the electronics on this base set-up and for the sprint race we did a big step on that point on the electronics.

“And this helped me a lot to be smoother.”

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