MotoGP Czech Grand Prix winner Marc Marquez says he “pushed 100% from the beginning” as he was “afraid” of an attack from Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo.
The Honda rider eased to his sixth win of 2019 by a margin of 2.4 seconds over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in the Brno event, which was shortened by a lap due to a lengthy pre-race weather delay.
Practice form had suggested Marquez’s nearest rivals in the race would be works M1 rider Vinales and his Petronas SRT counterpart Quartararo, despite both starting from ninth and 10th respectively.
But neither failed to make an impact in the race, with finishing Quartararo 12s adrift in seventh and Vinales 16.5s further back in ninth following a dismal start.
“I pushed my 100% from the beginning to the end, because I was a little bit afraid of the Yamaha riders,” Marquez explained.
“They started behind, but in the warm-up they were very fast, especially Vinales and Quartararo. “In the end top Yamaha was Valentino [Rossi, in sixth].
“I expected a big drop of the tyres in the end. [It] was like this, but I think all riders had a big drop, so I was able to manage in a good way.”
Marquez revealed that he came into the race with a “completely new bike”, after his team radically altered its set-up following morning warm-up on Sunday.
But he remained “convinced” he would be able to action his preferred strategy of leading from pole position.
“It was so difficult, especially when you are there on the grid and [have to] come back to the pit box,” he said when asked how the weather delay had complicated the race.
“But I was convinced about the strategy, and this gave me a special feeling, because I was convinced [I could] start well to push from the first lap until the end, and this is what I did.
“We went into the race with a new bike, a completely new set-up on the bike because in warm-up the feeling was not the best one and we decided to completely change the bike.
“Repsol Honda Team did a very great job to understand what was the problem.”
Marquez suffered a moment under braking for Turn 10 on lap 12 while still just over half a second in front of Dovizioso, but proceeded to open a lead of 2.2s in the next three laps.
He branded this point of the race as the “most important” for ultimately securing victory.
“With 11 or 10 laps more or less remaining, [this] was around the time I started to push more, because I saw Dovi was behind me and then I started to see he was 0.4s, 0,5s, 0.6s [behind].
“So then it was time to give the best, and this is what I did. “That three, four laps after that big moment [at Turn 10] was the most important point of the race.”