The start of the MotoGP season was the most difficult point, maybe the most difficult preseason in my career. The feeling was, 'Okay, I have an uphill in front, and now we must find a way.'

I remembered saying to Honda engineers, "I believe in you, so I will change my mentality for the first races. But in the second part of the season, I need your help." In the second half of the season, this help arrived. They did a great job with the electronics, especially. We improved the acceleration, and now we have a competitive bike.

Marc Marquez with father and brother Alex
Marc Marquez celebrates his fifth world title with his father and younger brother, Alex. “The best party is one that you don’t expect,” Marquez said after winning Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.©Motorcyclist

When you are leading, you can approach the championship in a different way. You can be happy with second or third place. When I made a mistake at Le Mans trying to push more than what I could feel on the bike and lost the lead to the championship, I said, "Okay, if I do not feel, I will not push."

I won in Germany and then, when we started the second part of the season, I finished sometimes off the podium, and I started to become a little bit nervous. Emilio [Alzamora, Marquez's manager] and Santi [Hernandez, Marquez's crew chief] always said, "You still have a big advantage. Aragon will arrive." That was a key point, especially for the team.

Today, I felt normal. My friend, Jose, said, “If something happens, we will be in turn three.” I said, “Forget this. We will see in Australia.”

Marquez trailing Lorenzo at Motegi
“I was pushing at the maximum for the first 15 laps,” said Marquez, seen here trailing 2015 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. “When I got a three-second advantage, I tried to control.”©Motorcyclist

When I saw, 'Lorenzo out,' everything became crazy in my head. I made a few mistakes, but the key point is, in the beginning of the race, I was really quiet. When Valentino [Rossi] overtook me three or four times, he braked too deep and went wide. I said, 'I don’t want this battle,' I need to go.

I pushed at the maximum for four or five laps, and that was enough. Valentino made a mistake, and then I just managed the distance between Jorge [Lorenzo] and me.

Marquez podium chart
As this chart shows, Marc Marquez has won five world titles in the past seven years, three in Grand Prix racing’s premier class.©Motorcyclist

Every year is really hard, and every year, you do your maximum. But this year, the pressure that I felt, especially at the beginning of the season, was really, really high.

I feel more pressure, but I also feel extra motivation. This combination keeps me really focused. From Thursday to Sunday, I was focused on the bike, focused on the my team, and this was the key.

Honestly, when I passed the finish line, I was like, “Okay, there will be no T-shirts, no nothing.” But they always believe in me. Some of them were crying. It was amazing.

(Matthew's original story appeared on

Marc Marquez won the Argentinian Grand Prix
Marc Marquez won the Argentinian Grand Prix, the second race of the 2016 season. “After the test in Qatar, someone said it was impossible to win with this bike,” Marquez said. "That phrase motivated me even more, because nothing is impossible.”©Motorcyclist
Marquez at COTA
Repsol Honda team rider claimed his second victory of the season at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, where no one else has won a MotoGP race, and celebrated on the podium wearing a traditional Stetson hat.©Motorcyclist
Marquez at the French GP
“The hardest moment was probably the Sunday of the French Grand Prix,” Marquez said. After crashing and remounting, he managed to finish the race at Le Mans in 13th position.©Motorcyclist
MM93 at Italian GP
The finish of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello was one of the closest ever recorded, with Marquez in the runner-up position and just 19 thousandths of a second behind Jorge Lorenzo.©Motorcyclist
Luis Salom
Marquez and Valentino Rossi exchanged a handshake at the Catalan Grand Prix, an event sadly remembered for the passing of Luis Salom.©Motorcyclist
Marquez after crashing at Dutch GP
After crashing in qualifying for the Dutch TT, Marquez managed to quickly get back on the racetrack by returning to the pits aboard a photographer’s scooter.©Motorcyclist
Marquez at German GP
Marquez celebrated victory at the German Grand Prix with his team in parc ferme. “I have always trusted Honda,” he said. “My heart and my head are in Honda.”©Motorcyclist
Marquez at Brno
Marquez joked with the media at the Czech Republic GP, where he finished third, with the image showing one of his seemingly impossible saves. “I still see myself as a kid,” he admitted.©Motorcyclist
Aragon GP Marquez fans
Marquez celebrated his victory at the Aragon GP with the Marquez Fan Club. “I won in Germany, but I couldn’t over the next few races, and I was very nervous,” he said. “Santi Hernandez and Emilio Alzamora told me to keep calm, as Aragon was coming.”©Motorcyclist
Marquez celebrating championship at Twin Ring Motegi
The Repsol Honda box at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan was doused in Cava after Marquez was crowned world champion for the fifth time in seven years. “I’m very lucky to have a large family behind me, which is my team,” he said.©Motorcyclist