Marc Marquez vows to forget error

AFP| Updated: Oct 21, 2013, 09:41 AM IST

Phillip Island: Rookie Marc Marquez has vowed to put his costly mistake at the Australian MotoGP behind him, insisting his bid to be crowned the youngest MotoGP world champion is on track.

The Spaniard had his 43-point championship lead over rival Jorge Lorenzo slashed to just 18 points after he was disqualified from Sunday`s chaotic race at Phillip Island for failing to stop for a black flag.

Defending champion Lorenzo on a Yamaha went on to win while Marquez and his Repsol Honda team left empty handed, offering his countryman renewed hope ahead of this weekend`s Japan MotoGP at Motegi.

Marquez, 20, who could have wrapped up the title in Australia, cannot afford any more slip-ups in the two remaining races if he is to become the first rookie since American Kenny Roberts 35 years to win the world premier class championship.

He would also become the youngest MotoGP champion since it started in 2002 when it took over from the 500cc category.

"I said on Thursday that the championship is very long," Marquez said.

"Today this happened and maybe in Motegi it`s something else. I know we`re going in the right way, I feel so good on the bike. I could have fought for the podium or the victory today."

Marquez was black-flagged for ignoring a mandatory pit stop after the Australian race was shortened to 19 laps from a scheduled 26 because of safety concerns over Bridgestone tyres degrading on the new tarmac surface.

Riders were required by race officials to make a pit stop by the 10th lap and change to a replacement machine with fresh tyres to avoid potentially dangerous tyre wear.

Marquez instead remained on the track on his Repsol Honda for an extra lap and incurred a black flag from race officials, disqualifying him and leaving him without a single point.

"The plan we had was not correct, we thought that we could do that lap," he insisted.

"Now we need to forget about it and just concentrate in Motegi."

A team statement said: "The team made a mistake, understanding he was able to complete 10 laps and come back in before completing lap 11, and the `box` instruction on his pit board was therefore one lap late."

With two events of the championship remaining, at Motegi next weekend and Valencia, Marquez still has his fate in his own hands.

But Lorenzo, whose victory at Phillip Island was his sixth of the season and 50th grand prix triumph of his career, suddenly sees a glimmer of hope.

"Now we have options. If Marc keeps constant on the podium then it is impossible to win the championship, but there are a lot of laps to go so anything could happen," Lorenzo said.

"It was a crazy race and much different than a normal race with the change of bikes in the middle of the race.

"Twenty-five points, the best result possible, and we now have opened the world championship, but it is still very tough. Let`s see what happens in Motegi."