Marc Marquez says the risks he took during a drying MotoGP Czech Grand Prix qualifying to take pole left Honda management “angry” with him.
Marquez was the first rider to switch to slicks on the drying Brno surface midway through Q2, and went on to equal five-time 500cc champion Mick Doohan’s record tally of 58 premier class poles by a margin of 2.5 seconds despite rain falling again late in the session.
However, Marquez admitted the team’s “target” was not pole, and that his comfortable 58-point lead in the championship meant he “didn’t need” to risk as much as he did.
“Of course I’m very happy to be on pole position,” he said.
“But after analysing the situation I took a risk that I didn’t need and I already see in parc ferme that some members of the team were very happy, but some of them – the important ones, the ones that push me more – were angry because I took too much risk.
“The target was the front row, not the pole position. Pole position of course is important, but the target was done.
“The team did a good job with the strategy, they were prepared with the second bike, all the mechanics were in the correct positions.
“I go out and the problem was it started to rain, [there were a] couple of spots of rain on the visor but the chance was there.
“The decision was there and I tried to do my 100%, and lucky for me [I got] pole position.
“But I feel much, much better because I didn’t crash, and this is the most important.”
Asked if he pushed so hard in qualifying to make a point to his rivals for the race, Marquez said this was not the case, and that the pace of Pramac’s Jack Miller – who qualified second – on slicks forced his hand.
He also said he would concede his push for pole if a similar situation arises in the future. “I knew he was coming with the slicks, but I don’t know if he was improving a lot or not,” Marquez added.
“And then I was just trying to find my limit.
“But the last lap, for example, is the one that if there is a next time, I will not do it [again], because my target was the front row and on the last lap I took too much risk.
“In the end pole by 2.5s, but the distance between first and second on the grid is the same.
“So I need to think about it, it’s really good, the atmosphere was really good in the box, but the most important [thing] is Sunday – the most important is the championship.”