NILAI – The 2017 MotoGP World Championship leader, Marc Marquez is looking forward to secure his fourth world title during the weekend’s Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
The 24-year-old Spaniard of Honda, who currently tops the championship with 269 points, a comfortable 33 points led against closest rival Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati after finishing first at Philip Island, Australia, last weekend, wanted to put full focus on securing top position to claim the title.
With a maximum of 50 points at stake, 25 each during the SIC’s penultimate stage from Oct 27-29 and finale in Valencia from Nov 10-12, the reigning champion Marquez is however, aware of the Italian’s threat, who emerged victorious at Sepang last year.
“Off course I would get a tough challenge from Dovi (Dovizioso) and the other riders because MotoGP this year is crazy, the show is incredible, every race is a battle between some top guys. This is also important for the fans and as a rider, we enjoy it.
“Here we are close to the championship. I want to focus and try to push from free practice, be consistent, and prepare final crucial stuff for the race and on Sunday, we will see where we can be and it is important to finish the race and take points for the championship,” he told reporters.
Marquez, who won three world titles in 2013, 2014 and 2016 seasons was met by reporters after a friendly badminton match at the National Velodrome here, where he paired up with 1996 Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist Rashid Sidek to play against another three time MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of Ducati and 1996 Atlanta men’s doubles silver medallist, Yap Kim Hock.
On the track, Marquez expects a stiff battle and challenging weather conditions during the weekend, would make it one of the toughest race of the season.
“Everyone know the track very well, because we have six days practice in the preseason, so we did a lot of laps…All riders has many kilometres, they know the secrets of the track. It is very hot, warm on the bike, so tough for physical condition,” he said.
Meanwhile, fellow Spaniard Lorenzo who is in seventh place in the standing with 117 after having a difficult season, having only secured two podiums with third place finish at De Espana and Aragon, hopeful of repeating last year’s feat with another podium finish.
“Last weekend was kind of a disaster, finishing 15 is not the position we expected, here we hope much to do better. I faced a lot of problem to adapt to the new bike because Ducati is completely different (from Yamaha). I need to change my riding style and work together with the team to give me more confidence,” he said. – BERNAMA