As the only rider on the grid to chose the hard front tyre, the easy conclusion to jump to for Alex Marquez losing the front and crashing out of fourth place at mid-distance in the Teruel MotoGP was that he'd been caught out by the decision.

But as the Repsol Honda rookie explained, the hard tyre used the same compound as the medium on the right-hand side, the area in use at the scene of his Turn 2 fall.

"The hard front tyre was not the reason for the crash because the right side was exactly the same compound as the medium, the difference was just in the left side, where it was a little bit harder on the edge," Marquez explained.

Instead, the accident had been a case of rider error, the first such mistake Marquez has made in a MotoGP race.

"The crash was not from the tyre it was my fault, my mistake," he said. "I went into the turn a little bit faster, little bit more gas, and I closed the front. I didn't even check the data because for me the mistake was clear and that's it.

"I already said sorry to the team because I was trying to catch Mir again after the fight with Zarco and I was a little bit too optimistic and made that mistake.

"But anyway, the confidence and the rhythm was really good. I was coming step-by-step and making overtakes in a good way."

Older brother and injured reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez had given Alex some overtaking advice after watching him struggle to pass Mir on his way to second place the week before.

"His advice worked really good. Like always, we know Marc is really aggressive and really focussed with the overtakes," said Alex.

"I was able to make more overtakes in other places in this race, like to Pol, to Vinales, Zarco... Not just in the last corner, because today in the last corner everybody improved compared to last weekend. Copying a little bit my line, everybody was more on the inside."

The crash ended Marquez's chances of a third podium in a row, having fought his way forwards from tenth on the grid.

"I knew that Rins [2nd] and Morbidelli [1st] were so difficult to catch and I think being realistic I was able to fight with Mir for the podium, but they were better than me. They didn't make any mistake and I did," Alex said.

"It's my first mistake in a race, it's better to make a mistake fighting for a podium than fighting for points. We need to learn and take this experience for the future.

"I think we did three really good weekends in a row, we were again fighting for the podium, coming from P10. We can just be proud, happy and motivated for Valencia to continue in this way and not change our mind.

"So we will put realistic targets again, to go into the top ten. I think we are not ready to fight for the podium in all the tracks."

And what did Marc say after the race?

"He just sent me a message. 'Congrats for the weekend, be happy because you did a really good step'."

Alex Marquez starts the final three rounds tied on points with fellow rookie Brad Binder for 12th in the world championship.

Fellow Honda rider and 2021 LCR team-mate Takaaki Nakagami also crashed out of a race for the first time this season on Sunday, while leading on the first lap.

 

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