Monday, November 29

Miller vs. Márquez “like 2014 in Moto3”

Jack Miller (Ducati) and Àlex Marquez (LCR-Honda) fought a close duel for third place at the Algarve Grand Prix in Portimao. Marquez was first in the chasing group in fifth position. The Spaniard prevailed against the Pramac duo and hunted down Miller.

At the beginning of the twelfth lap, Márquez slowed the Ducati rider at Turn 1 and was on course for his first podium of the year. But Miller still had something in the quiver and overtook at the beginning of the 21st lap.

“We have a past,” remembers the Australian. “It felt like 2014 again.” At that time, Márquez and Miller were fighting for the world title in the Moto3 class. In the end, Marquez was world champion two points ahead.

This time Miller got the upper hand and was third on the podium. “When he passed me,” says Marquez. “He pulled out a small lead. But then I found the feeling again and was very close again.”

“When I crossed the finish line, I wanted to at least try it. In some points I was faster than him. Two laps before the end I wanted to try it at the entrance to the finish line, but I thought I would wait until the last lap and then surprise him . “

The race was stopped after the accident between the two KTM riders Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira. So Márquez had no chance to try his surprise maneuver. “I’m a little annoyed because I couldn’t try it,” said the Spaniard.

“But sometimes that’s just the way it is. You make decisions and then things like that happen. But still, more important than the podium is that I enjoyed it and was able to attack in the race. We can fight for good results. I’ve never lost my faith . “

Immediately after the race, Àlex Márquez received a call from his brother Marc, who was watching the race from home in front of the television. “He was happy and asked me if I could have beaten Miller,” said Alex. “He was happy for me.”

A new chassis and hard rear tire helps Marquez

One key to the Honda’s strong pace was the hard rear tire. The Michelin technicians had advised Honda against it, but Márquez tried this tire in Saturday practice. To my surprise, this tire worked better than expected.

Honda has also made progress technically. “We have been using this new chassis since the Misano test,” reports the driver from the LCR team. “In Austin we had doubts, but in Misano 2 those doubts were dispelled.”

“At Portimao on Friday I saw that it was better. We didn’t change that much on the bike, I focused on my riding style. That was the key. There are small improvements that make you feel better. That makes the difference. “

LCR team boss Lucio Cecchinello recently criticized his drivers Márquez and Takaaki Nakagami. Now Marquez managed his first strong race of the year: “That is very important. Not only for me, but also for the team.”

Miller was disappointed at first that the race had to be stopped and that there wasn’t a duel with Marquez on the last lap: “It’s a strange feeling because you build yourself up for it and then it happens.”

After the race there was a celebration anyway, because Ducati won the constructors’ championship for the second time in a row. “Now we have to win the team world championship,” announced Miller for the season finale in Valencia.

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