Four-time world champion Marc Marquez of Spain is full of confidence ahead of the inaugural PTT Thailand MotoGP in Buriram this weekend.
The 25-year-old Repsol Honda rider will have his work cut out – the race will also feature his two Italian arch-rivals: Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi of Yamaha.
With six circuit wins over the season, including the last stop in Spain at the Motorland Aragon 11 days ago, Marquez sits atop the Championship standing with 246 points, 72 ahead of Dovizioso with Rossi third on 159.
An impressive result at the Chang International Circuit would enhance the Spaniard’s hopes of achieving his stated goal of claiming his fifth world title.
“I’m coming here in a very good position for the Championship. I just won the last race at the Motorland Aragon. So my confidence is quite high,” said Marquez as he posed patiently for photographers and TV crews at the Wat Ratchanatdaram temple in Bangkok.
The venue is familiar territory for Marquez, who came over for February’s Winter Test , allowing him and his team to get to know the circuit and the immediate environment.
“The tests here were good, we were really fast. But now it’s rainy season, everything can happen. We will wait to see the situation and I will try to do my best,” added the man from the town of Cervera in the Catalonia region.
“When I saw the circuit for the first time, I thought it would be an easy track – but it was quite tricky because the first part was a long straight.
“My favourite was the last part with the really fast chicane. The last corner was too tricky to be very precise but it was nice to ride because of the nice surface,” added the man dubbed “the Ant from Cervera”, who arrived in Thailand on Tuesday night.
“We will try to fight for the victory on Sunday but I also need to think about the championship situation.
“We need to finish all the races, so I can’t take risks but will try to take control and take points for the championship.”
The 41-time-MotoGP expects to receive plenty of support from Thai fans and a huge turnout at the Chang International Circuit over the next few days.
“ During the Winter Test , there were so many people in the grandstand, which was very nice,” he added, “so I’m looking forward to see a lot of people on the race weekend too.”
Marquez and fellow Honda rider Nakarin Athiratphuwapat, who will be competing in the Moto3 race, also took part on Wednesday in a video shoot which will be used to promote the tournament.
The Spaniard was riding his RC213V and a local tuk-tuk (three-wheeled taxi) on Rattanakosin Island.
Apart from the race, there will also be other activities and entertainment this weekend, including a Muay Thai Expo and bouts on Friday, a Chang Music Connection concert on Saturday and a live performance by the famous girl group BNK48 on Sunday.
(Source:-The Nation, Thailand)