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Marquez was "completely exhausted” when he reached Le Mans MotoGP win fight

Marc Marquez says he was "completely exhausted” by the time he reached the battle for victory in the MotoGP French Grand Prix having come from 13th on the grid.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Gresini Ducati rider endured a tough qualifying which saw him knocked out in Q1, though he recovered brilliantly in the sprint to finish second.

Marquez did the same again on Sunday, though took 17 laps to get into the podium places before closing down a two-second gap to catch eventual winner Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia.

After securing second with a last-lap overtake on Bagnaia, Marquez admitted afterwards that he was unsure whether he could fight for the win once he reached the leaders.

“I was not convinced because when I arrived to them, I was completely exhausted,” Marquez said having scored a second grand prix podium with Gresini on the team's 1000th GP.

“I was pushing all the race, no time to relax, and then I arrived to them and I tried to attack.

“But then I said ‘hmm, I’m not feeling well now on the bike’ and I saw also Pecco had good acceleration. So, it was difficult to find the point to overtake because he was also defending well on Turn 3.

“But on that last lap, I said ‘I will be there to see if something happens’.

“I saw Pecco was not attacking Martin, so I go out well from that Turn 8 and in Turn 9 I tried. I was able to stop well.”

Marquez believes he would have stood a better chance at winning the French GP had he not got caught up in a “strange” battle for third with VR46 Ducati rider Fabio Di Giannantonio.

“That fight on those laps was strange because you need to understand sometimes which part of the race you are, and if some rider is coming from the back you cannot lose two seconds there because we lost 1.5s in that chicane with a contact; I had the position already,” he added.

“But I forget [this battle afterwards] and I kept going, and we did an amazing pace.

“It’s true that without that battle I had more chance because I would have more laps behind them. But that second place, today, was more than better.”

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