After pushing his title lead back above the one race win margin with a runner-up finish to Jorge Lorenzo in Catalunya, Marc Marquez heads to Assen with a 27-point advantage over Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP standings.
With Lorenzo (like team-mate Andrea Dovizioso) 49 points behind the Honda rider despite his back-to-back wins, Marquez was recently asked if the Ducati rider’s sudden form was a good thing for his own championship chances.
“Looking at the championship, you want everybody to be slower!” Marquez replied.
“For me, we have many races ahead, and that means anything can happen.
“So even if Jorge is 49 points behind, Dovizioso now too, they are both inside the battle.
“The good thing is that they are far from me and I am leading, but they are close to second.
“A mistake like I did in Mugello, like Dovi did [in Catalunya] can happen every time because we are riding quite fast.”
Following the Catalunya race, Marquez joined most of his rivals – although notably not the Ducatis of Lorenzo and Dovizioso – in a day of official testing at the Barcelona circuit.
Marquez set the fastest lap time at that test, in which he also appeared on track with a new all-black bike – thought to contain some chassis updates, which could theoretically be introduced this season.
“We’re coming off a good day of testing in Catalunya, but Assen is a much different track compared to Montmeló, so it will be very interesting to see how we go there,” Marquez said.
“I think Yamaha will be fast, because there are many fast changes of direction, and their bike is quite good there, but we will see.
“So far we’ve been at a good level more or less everywhere and we’ve managed to get some good results at different circuits, so we’re also feeling positive going to Assen.
“I like the track, the ‘Cathedral’ of bike racing, and the fans are always very passionate there.
“It’s good to arrive with a little advantage in the Championship, but we’re very early in the season. There are several riders for whom the title is still possible, so we must just keep working and try to get the best result the situation allows.”
Marquez’s only Assen MotoGP win was in 2014.