MARC Marquez admits he will sleep easier tonight knowing he had a crack at trying to pinch the Grand Prix of Qatar at the last corner.
The waning laps of the opening race of the MotoGP season mirrored those of 2017; the reigning MotoGP world champion battling his chief rival Andrea Dovizioso.
Just like in Austria and Japan last year, Marquez snatched the lead at the final corner of the race.
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And — just like in Austria and Japan — Dovizioso beat him to the chequered flag.
“It’s like a deja-vu,” Marquez said. “Last corner with Andrea, go in, I go wide, he go in and win the race.
“This will change in the future I hope!”
For his part, Dovizioso conceded that Marquez did a much better job of trying to block the Ducati’s path to the apex than on either previous occasion.
“I’m happy because I was able to manage the last corner in a perfect way,” Dovizioso said.
“He closed the door more than in the past, and I had to pass through the kerb inside because there wasn’t another space.
“But I was able to turn the bike very quickly and use the power of the Ducati in the straight.”
Qatar marks the third time in the past 12 months that a race has come down to a final-corner showdown between the pair, and the scoreline sits at three-nil to the Ducati man.
But that wasn’t the only recurring theme, reckons Marquez.
“On another hand, I lost these last lap, last corner (battles) in the worst circuits for us: Red Bull Ring, Motegi, here.
“It’s like a victory for us. It’s not 25 points, but it’s 20 points in a very difficult track for us.
“I knew that I was on the limit but I try, and now I can sleep well tonight.
“If not, I cannot sleep. I tried; it was not possible.”
MARQUEZ’S OTHER BIG MOMENT OF THE RACE
Knowing Dovizioso was the rider to beat, Marquez has long figured his best chance was a last-lap lunge.
But he had to be close enough to do so.
That meant committing to sticking to Dovizioso’s rear tyre — no matter what.
“My plan was that when he pass Zarco I go with him, didn’t matter when or where,” he explained.
“He overtook Zarco, I just was behind him. I was in the limit, all in.
“Then I start to lose the rear, I touch Zarco, I release the brakes, I take the slipstream of Andrea, then I couldn’t stop the bike.
“I go wide, but I stay on the corner. That was the key point of the race.”