Marquez: Rossi seemed "nervous" in early laps of Motegi race

Newly-crowned MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says rival Valentino Rossi appeared "nervous" in the early laps of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Marquez: Rossi seemed "nervous" in early laps of Motegi race
Podium: race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi

Marquez and Rossi diced for second place behind race leader Jorge Lorenzo early on, the Italian making several dives down Marquez's inside only to run wide and hand position back.

They both eventually passed Lorenzo before Rossi crashed out on lap seven while chasing Marquez, who went on to win and secure his third premier-class championship.

Recalling the opening laps of the race, Marquez said: "I was really calm and then Valentino overtook me three-four times, he braked too deep, he went wide.

"I felt he was maybe a little bit nervous.

"I said 'okay, I don't want this battle, I need to go'. I overtook him and I pushed the maximum for five laps and then was enough because he did the mistake and then I just tried to manage the distance between me and Jorge."

With Lorenzo crashing out later on and allowing an early coronation for Marquez, Motegi marked the first time that Rossi and Lorenzo both non-scored in a race in their seven years as teammates.

"It's really strange," Marquez said.

"For that reason, I said on Thursday that it's impossible to win the championship - it's something difficult to think that both riders will make a mistake in the race.

"Jorge, I don't know, but maybe Valentino was trying to catch me and I was pushing.

"In the end, Valentino, I think he did the correct strategy. If he wanted to have a small chance - it's like me last year - if he wanted to have the small chance to win the title, he needed to win races. He was pushing at the limit, for sure, to try to catch me and overtake me."

Learning from Rossi

Rossi's Motegi crash was brought on by the Italian losing the front end, which has been a cause for many an accident in Michelin's MotoGP comeback season so far.

And Marquez said that his ability to keep control over the front end had been bolstered by him watching Rossi in the Catalan GP earlier in the season.

"In Montmelo, I started to understand it a little bit because I saw a few things behind Valentino in that race," he explained. "It was the first race that I followed Valentino many laps - and Valentino knows a lot the Michelin tyres, because he rode them for many years.

"I saw a few things, I sad 'okay, I'll try to improve'. I started to understand the front tyre and now I try to use it in a different way - but every circuit is different."

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