Marquez will be ‘happy with podium’ in Qatar

Defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has said he will be happy just to finish on the podium in Sunday’s season opener.

Marquez will start at the Losail International Circuit in third position on the grid, the positions determined by combined free practice times after qualifying was called off due to a rainstorm.

The Spaniard remained optimistic after completing more than 300 laps on the desert circuit during winter testing and in free practice on Thursday and Friday.

“Starting on the front row for me is a good result. It is not the best way to achieve but tomorrow we will try to fight for the podium,” he said.

“[The warm-up will be] important and in the end we make here more than 300 laps during the test and this weekend, so in the end everybody has the pace, the set-up; some riders are faster, some are slower, but everybody knows which possibilities they can achieve in the race and we will try because we know that a podium will be a great result for us.”

Marquez also expressed hope that grip is not a problem given that the Moto3 and Moto2 races will take place before the main race.

“I don't know if the grip will change a lot; I think in our case in MotoGP the grip will be already good because before you will have the Moto3 and Moto2 races. But it will be tricky to see and I hope they can dry the track and I hope also that the weather keeps stable until tomorrow and then let's see the grip of the track. We have 30 minutes warm-up so we can find the feeling again.”