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Marquez: Australia MotoGP front row “impossible” without tow help

Honda’s Marc Marquez admits it would have been “impossible” to qualify second for the MotoGP Australian Grand Prix without getting a tow from Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The six-time MotoGP world champion missed out on pole at Phillip Island on Saturday to Pramac’s Jorge Martin by just 0.013 seconds.

Marquez utilised a tow from Bagnaia on his final run to lift himself ahead of the Ducati rider and score his second front row start in the fourth race of his injury comeback.

But he admits it wasn’t possible to achieve this without Bagnaia’s help as he feels the current Honda package isn’t good enough to do the 1m27.780s lap time he managed.

“Of course the reference of Pecco, the slipstream of Pecco, was crucial,” Marquez said.

“Without that slipstream, with the package we have now with Honda, it would have been impossible to ride in this lap time.

“But you need to do it and I followed him, I did a good lap and for tomorrow the pace is not bad – not the best one, but not bad.

“I worked well, and especially the team worked really well all weekend.

Yesterday we worked for the future [trying new aero parts], today we worked for the present. We are going up, we are getting closer and closer to the front guys.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez lost one of his laps early on in the Q2 shootout session when he lost the front-end of his Honda going through the Turn 10 hairpin.

He managed to save the moment in an incident similar to one he had at the exact same place in practice for the 2019 Australian GP.

While he admits “it’s not the best signal” of his returning fitness, he did reveal that his body reacted in the same way in that moment as it did back in 2019 prior to his serious arm injury.

“Yeah, I was coming fast in that lap and I go into Turn 10 fast,” Marquez explained.

“There already the previous lap I could see Pecco was turning a lot and I could see the grip they had was amazing.

“In the last moment I tried to push the front a bit more to try to turn and it was exactly the same moment as 2019.

“The good thing is the arm, everything, all the body reacted in the same way and was exactly the same movement [as in 2019]. So, it’s not the best signal because it means we are on the limit, but it was nice for the people [watching].”

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