SEPANG: World champion Marc Marquez believes his team are still capable of challenging the dominance of the Ducatis at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix which starts today.
The Repsol Honda rider admitted that Ducati have been strong at Sepang in recent seasons but highlighted the fact that he has been able to produce results, even at tracks which are considered less suitable for the Hondas.
Marquez secured his fifth premier class title after winning at Motegi but was taken out of the race at Phillip Island last week by Frenchman Johann Zarco.
"We were in good shape at Phillip Island (until the crash) and will try to maintain our performance here in Malaysia," said Marquez.
"We had a good pre-season test here (Sepang) in terms of pace but that was on a different bike, condition and setup so we have to forget that and concentrate for the weekend.
"Normally Ducati are on a very good level (of performance) in Malaysia but you never know.
"It (Sepang) is not one of the best circuits (for Honda) but so was Motegi. In the end we were still able to fight for the win in Motegi.
"We will try to start in a good way from the first practice session and work hard. During (pre-race) warm up we will see if we can fight for the podium, top-five or maybe the victory."
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso has won the last two editions of the Malaysian GP in wet conditions.
Marquez, who has won eight races this year, is no stranger to success at Sepang having won in the premier class here in 2014 and in the 125cc class in 2010.