Marc Marquez claims he did not try a last-lap winning move in the Italian Grand Prix because he was thinking of the MotoGP title race with Andrea Dovizioso.
Marquez was fighting with factory Ducati pair Petrucci and Dovizioso for the victory at Mugello, with Alex Rins in close pursuit behind the trio.
Petrucci led late on with Dovizioso running behind him, but Marquez slipstreamed past the pair on the main straight ahead of the final lap.
But the Honda rider ran slightly wide with Dovizioso on the inside of him, and Petrucci snuck past the both of them to retake the lead.
Marquez said that after leaving Turn 1 second, his focus was to keep Dovizioso behind rather than fight Petrucci for the win.
“I tried in the beginning [to make a move] like always, I tried to do my pace, but I already had two small moments,” said Marquez, whose championship lead over Dovizioso is now 12 points.
“I said ‘today is not the day [to pull away], I will follow and I will fight on the last lap’.
“I missed the apex on Turn 1, but then when I saw on the last lap that Danilo was first, myself second and Dovi third, I said ‘OK, I will not try, I will just defend’.
“If I tried and we both go wide, Dovi wins the race and then that is worse for the championship.
“For that reason, I stayed behind Danilo, I tried on the last [corner] with the slipstream but we knew that was very difficult.”
He added that he spent the previous laps “studying” how best to pull off a move on the Ducatis.
“For me was great to overtake both Ducatis on the straight, the other laps I was studying to see if it was better on the right side or left side but then I saw the right side was too dirty and the bike started shaking,” he explained.
“I went to the left side but with two slipstreams I arrived at the braking point with very high speed, [and that was] when I missed the apex.
“I already saw that I was going wide but then I just tried to be tight in but I saw some red bike inside [of me].
“I don’t know who it was, Dovi or Danilo, but I was going in and then I saw that he picks up [the bike].
“When I was going off the first corner and I saw that I was second and Petrucci was first, I was like ‘OK, we are in a good situation’.”