Marquez «crashed in the easiest part» of Jerez MotoGP sprint race

Gresini rider Marquez made a relatively slow launch from pole position to drop to third at the start, but repassed both KTM’s Brad Binder and Pramac star Jorge Martin to retake the lead on lap 7.

By the start of lap 9, Marquez had pulled himself clear of the chasing pack and was seemingly on his way to a first victory of 2024, only to suffer a fall at the Turn 9 left-hander.

The Spanish rider was able to hop back on his bike and recover to seventh, as a number of other frontrunners crashed out from what turned out to be a race of attrition. He was elevated to sixth following post-race penalties. 

Asked if he is now closer than ever to a maiden victory on the Desmosedici, having completed his adaptation from the Honda RC213V, the six-time MotoGP champion said: «Closer than Austin but still not enough. Just four laps and we didn’t finish that four laps to finish the perfect day.

«But the good thing is that for me today is a super good day, pole position. We understand that in wet conditions we are fast.

«Then in the main [sprint] race we were the fastest there but unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the race. I did the most difficult thing [of taking the lead], but then I crashed in the easiest part of the race.

«But like most of the riders I would say I take a wet patch and I lose the front. So most of them but the good thing is that every time we are closer and closer.»

Saturday’s sprint at Jerez was an unusually dramatic race as more than half the field suffered major crashes, with arguably the most bizarre incident taking place moments before Marquez’s fall as younger brother Alex Marquez, Enea Bastianini and Binder all slipped off their bikes in tandem into Turn 5.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Although there has been no official statement from FIM, MotoGP or Jerez, a number of riders reported that water from an earlier rain shower had seeped its way onto the asphalt, even though it wasn’t clearly visible in the TV footage.

Marquez explained that he never saw the wet patch that led to his crash at Turn 9, but he was conservative on the entry to the corner on that particular lap.

«I didn’t realise that [it] was that wet patch during all the race,» he said.

«I saw that there were some wet patches in the entry but on gas I didn’t see that wet patch. And then, in fact, that lap I braked a bit earlier and I kept a bit more corner speed but maybe I only went 10cm [wide] because [at] worst [it was a] 20cm patch.

«I went 10cm out or in, I don’t know. I don’t know if I was passing that patch in the previous laps in or out because I was not overriding.

«But unfortunately when I lost the front I wasn’t able to recover but even like this we finished seventh in the race so good.»

The Jerez sprint marked the second consecutive race in which Marquez crashed from the lead, having also lost a potential victory in the Americas GP earlier this month.

He also retired from the Portuguese GP after an incident with reigning champion and factory Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia.

But the 31-year-old isn’t concerned about his recent run of incidents, as he feels fast on the Ducati since he turned up the wick in the US round.

«I understand since Austin [that] I’m strong enough about the mental side,» he said.

«First two races [of the year] I was constant and I tried to control the situation. Since Austin we increase one step the risk and then you expose the limits and then you can crash. I understand that.

«Yeah, people can talk a lot. I have my plan, I know what I’m doing and I’m happy because I’m fast. This was my main worry this season. So at the moment I’m fast.

«Of course, I need to work on the consistency but the good thing is that all the crashes I had on the race in Portimao, Austin and here it was not [due] to over-riding [the bike]. It was always the extra conditions.»

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