Marc Marquez acknowledges that he required riders ahead of him to crash out of the MotoGP French Grand Prix in order for him to finish sixth on the problematic Honda.
On the drastically altered 2022 Honda, the six-time world champion continues to battle for form and qualified 10th on the grid.
Marquez believed his pace was just good enough to fight for the top seven positions going into the race, and he finished sixth after letting Pramac’s Johann Zarco move ahead on purpose.
“No, our position without the crashes was ninth,” Marquez said when asked by Motorsport.com if he could have had a strong race without riders crashing front of him. Despite three riders colliding, we finished sixth. I couldn’t get any faster.
“When Zarco overtook me, I just went wide in a purposeful way to not lose time, I let him pass and tried to follow him in some laps. But I saw he was faster. I didn’t have the speed, so I just finished the race.”
Marquez had a significant moment in warm-up when he injured his right arm, which he badly damaged back in 2020.
This didn’t cause him too many problems during the race, but he admits he wasn’t feeling well on Sunday.
“I got up and I didn’t feel well – body, but also the arm,” he added. “Even like this it was the race day, so you need to race.
“In the warm-up I was struggling, I got into the box, I go out for the practice start and I had that strange shaking. There was pain a little bit [in] the arm, but nothing wrong. For the race, it was OK, was in a normal level like Jerez and Portimao.
“We started and we did our race. Constant, solid race. Nothing crazy, but [that] was our pace.
“So, I stayed in my pace and I finished sixth. I said our position was between fifth and seventh, three riders crashed in front, then we achieved our target that was between fifth and seventh.”