MotoGP Austin: Marquez was focused on Iannone when blocking Vinales

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says the block on Maverick Vinales that cost him pole for the Austin race happened because he was focused on keeping Andrea Iannone ahead

MotoGP Austin: Marquez was focused on Iannone when blocking Vinales

Vinales was on a quick lap and set to challenge Marquez's provisional pole benchmark when he came up on the Honda rider in the final sector and was forced to back out, gesticulating angrily at Marquez as he rode past.

He recovered with his next lap, finishing four tenths off Marquez in second, before a three-place penalty for the latter promoted the Yamaha man to first place on the grid.

Speaking after qualifying, Marquez insisted he'd tried to move out of Vinales' way as quickly as he could - and that he hadn't noticed his rival sooner because he was preoccupied with Iannone riding slow up ahead.

"Unluckily, I was going out of the box, I expected that nobody was coming behind and suddenly I heard an engine," Marquez recalled.

"I was looking more for Iannone than who was coming behind, and when I heard the engine I go in as quick as possible - but looks like I disturbed the lap."

Marquez explained that he was concerned about having Iannone follow him on his flying lap, given the Suzuki rider had been quick throughout the weekend.

"Here normally I don't need slipstream but I know that a fast rider behind me can improve his laptime a lot and Iannone [on Friday] was fast," said Marquez.

"So I was looking at Iannone and I didn't expect Maverick.

"They [race direction] say I was on the [racing] line, Iannone was out of the line. I never do [this], but this time I was there."

Iannone, who in the end did manage to follow Marquez on the flying lap and ended the session third behind him and Vinales, admitted that that had been his strategy.

"I go out from the pit, I see Marc, I know Marc in this track is really fast, [so] I try to follow him," he said.

"In any case, I think it's like [this for] everybody. He wants to stay [behind], doesn't want to overtake me - and so at the end, this is the situation."

Vinales refused to comment on the incident and the subsequent penalty, but did hint the lap he had to abandon because of Marquez could've been his fastest.

"It's difficult to know," he said.

"For sure, in the first lap, your third and fourth sector is the best one, but I don't know, it's difficult to say."

shares
comments
Marc Marquez to start Austin MotoGP fourth after Vinales block
Previous article

Marc Marquez to start Austin MotoGP fourth after Vinales block

Next article

Crutchlow blames tyre 'lottery' for poor MotoGP Austin qualifying

Crutchlow blames tyre 'lottery' for poor MotoGP Austin qualifying
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022