Marc Marquez understands that he faces a fierce fight in Austin, Texas this weekend if he wants to maintain his perfect MotoGP win record at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.
The Spaniard won the first ever race at the Circuit of the Americas in 2013 from pole position as a rookie, then followed up further grid-topping qualifying days with victories in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
This season, however, the Repsol Honda rider has seen emerging star Maverick Viñales open up the campaign by winning the Grand Prix of Qatar and Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina to build a healthy 37-point championship lead over him.
The 24-year-old Marquez claimed pole position last time out at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo to lift his spirits, even if he was forced to retire early in the race following a crash on lap three.
He told Relatos Solidarios, “Maverick’s debut has been unbelievable, the perfect debut. But it was something that everyone could predict a little, this is how it was in the preseason.
“We need a bit of stability because Viñales has won twice already and Valentino (Rossi) has been on the podium twice. Both Yamahas appear to be very competitive.
“If there’s a chance of winning in Austin, I will try. We must learn from the error in Argentina. I insist that a podium finish would be ideal to regain some stability.
“Texas is a circuit that I like. I like the layout of the track, as it has many different types of sections and corners and lots of elevation changes.”
Meanwhile Viñales knows all too well that he must not get complacent with the likes of Marquez, Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow all poised to take advantage of any lapse in concentration.
The Yamaha rider explained, “We’re going to work hard. Texas is a really good track for me, I always feel really good [with the] changes of direction, fast corners and hard braking.”