MotoGP championship leader Andrea Dovizioso has praised rival Marc Marquez’s ability to push things to the limit on a motorbike ahead of this weekend’s race at Misano.
Marquez was at the top of the standings going into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last month, but was overtaken by the Italian after he was forced to retire through engine failure.
The Honda rider enjoyed a thrilling weekend at Silverstone before his retirement, crashing twice on Friday and narrowly avoiding mishaps on two further occasions during qualifying as he became the first rider to put in a sub-two minute lap at the British circuit.
That left Dovizioso impressed.
“One of the positive things of Marc is this; he is able to play with the limit, and not a lot of riders are able to do that,” he said.
“Most of the time you pass the limit, make a mistake, but he won a lot of titles so it means he is good to manage all the situations.
“For Marc it is difficult to try not to play with the limit – for him it’s normal, he has to do that every time.
“Most of the time he is good [at being able] to do that, but everybody is really on the limit so anything can happen at any time.”
Fellow Honda man Cal Crutchlow said he was amazed that Marquez had made it through the weekend unscathed.
“If that was anyone else he’d have two broken legs and dislocated shoulder!” he said.
“I have no idea how he gets away with it, and then to top it off again, the bike nearly hit him and he still managed to miss it whereas somebody else would be cleaned up.
Crutchlow also suggested that Marquez had evolved his style this year.
“I see him riding in a different way,” said Crutchlow. “Sure he crashed, but he’s a lot more wheels in line than he usually is.
“He seems to be riding the bike in a different way a little bit than at the start of the year and last year – he seems smoother to me.”