Marc Marquez currently holds a 42-point lead over Valentino Rossi on the MotoGP World Championship standings, but the Repsol Honda rider believes the Italian legend is more than capable of catching up to him.
Marquez increased his lead at the top of the standings last time out at Assen after securing his third consecutive second place, while Rossi, who sits in third place on the points table, was forced to retire after crashing and Jorge Lorenzo, who occupies second place on the standings, came 10th.
While Marquez admits that Lorenzo poses more of a threat in theory as there is just a 24-point gap between them, the Spaniard is not looking past Rossi as the seven-time MotoGP champion is still within touching distance heading into the German Grand Prix this weekend, which marks the halfway point of the season.
“Of course, I couldn’t imagine this situation, because we struggled a lot in the pre-season,” Marquez told reporters. “At the halfway point of the season leading by 24 points, I couldn’t imagine.
“But we’re getting better and better, and new items are arriving that we can test in the next races.
“We’ll see if we can do another step because at the moment Jorge is the strongest one, the closest one in the championship, he’ll be really strong like we saw last year in the second part of the season.
“So we need to take care about him, but don’t forget Valentino. He’s far [behind], but not far enough. In the last races he was very strong and it will be hard to manage the distance. [We must] keep same mentality until now – try to push if we can win, but in the end it’s difficult to manage the risk, to finish the races.”
Since making his MotoGP debut in 2013, Marquez has triumphed on each of his trips to the Sachsenring and the 23-year-old intends to keep that streak going on Sunday.
“Here has been a good circuit for me in the past, but we will see this season because this weekend a big question mark is always the weather,” he said. “But it looks like the Honda works well here. We don’t have a lot of acceleration [zones], which helps us a bit, but we need to check how it is this year with the Michelin tyres and new electronics at this circuit.”