Honda rider Alex Marquez admits he he’ll “need to be lucky” to mount another Aragon MotoGP podium charge after qualifying a season’s-best 10th for the Teruel Grand Prix.
The Honda rookie once again made it directly into Q2 for the second Aragon round and went on to qualify one spot better than last weekend in 10th, albeit 0.721 seconds off poleman Takaaki Nakagami on the 2019 RC213V.
Marquez improved his qualifying laptime by around half a second from the first Aragon race and is confident in his race pace following a strong FP4.
However, he concedes he “expected a bit more” from his lap and thinks the top five in Sunday’s race is a “realistic” target.
“The step is there. Last weekend we did 1m48.1s, today 1m47.6s, 1m47.5s in the morning,” Marquez said when asked by Motorsport.com if he expected more from qualifying.
“Sure, I expected a little bit more and I expected to be on the first three rows.
“For half a tenth we didn’t do it, but anyway we have still a good pace, we have a good chance tomorrow.
“It’s true that starting again from P10 will be difficult to be on the podium, because everybody did a step this weekend and they are faster.
“So, will be difficult for everybody, but I have a good pace, especially with used tyres, and I will try tomorrow to make a good start and make a good recovery from the back because I think we have good pace.
“If we are realistic, we can be in the top five, but from top five we need to be lucky for some other opponents [having] problems or something.
“So, tomorrow the target is to be inside top six, top five and try to make a good race.”
Crutchlow: I don’t feel great on LCR Honda
LCR’s Cal Crutchlow managed to qualify three places higher than Marquez did in seventh, but admits he “almost crashed three times” on his best lap, which he feels lost him around three tenths.
The Briton also says he doesn’t “feel great” on his RC213V and “not particularly fast enough” at the moment.
“The day was average, it was just all right,” he said in response to a question from Motorsport.com. “We have to work tomorrow because I don’t feel great, I don’t feel particularly fast enough at the moment.
“In the qualifying lap I nearly crashed three times in one lap. So, it was a good lap that would have been probably three tenths faster than what I did, maybe four tenths, but it wouldn’t have been enough for pole position anyway.”
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