Marquez rejects 'aggressive' claim after MotoGP clash
Repsol Honda Team rider Marc Marquez of Spain takes a corner during the first practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix MotoGP motorcycling race at Sepang on October 11, 2013
The 20-year-old Honda ace, who is the youngest rider ever to lead a season, was given a penalty point Thursday for making contact with his teammate Dani Pedrosa in the last race in Aragon.
The slight nudge caused his fellow Spaniard to crash out, prompting both Pedrosa and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo to criticise Marquez' driving style as "aggressive".
In e-mailed comments to AFP ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, Marquez admitted he was a rookie who made mistakes but he insisted he wasn't reckless.
"No, of course, I don't want to crash or cause anyone else to crash. When I ride, I ride with determination, I wouldn't say it's aggressive, although others may interpret it that way," he said.
"This is my riding style, and I tried to change it to modify to the MotoGP bike, but in the end, I made this style work for me. I am still a rookie and make some mistakes so I will continue to learn and improve," he added.
Marquez has won six of 14 races this season and would be the first debut rider since American Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the world championship.
Lorenzo, who is 39 points behind Marquez, has said it will be "almost impossible" to catch up.
Pedrossa is third, and seven-time champion Valentino Rossi is fourth.
"No, honestly, this isn't something I expected! We hoped to challenge for some podiums by mid-season and then by the end of the season maybe a win, but it's been much better in reality," Marquez said.
He admitted the pressure was piling on with the realisation that a record championship win is possible.
"I have started to feel the pressure, but I need to block this out of my mind and concentrate on the job in hand," he said.
"We need to remain calm and do our best and see what happens."
The youngest rider to ever win a championship is Freddie Spencer who triumphed in 1983 at the age of 21.
During pre-season testing in February at Sepang, Marquez, who has replaced the retired two-time world champion Casey Stoner at Honda, said it was a "dream come true" to race Rossi and other top riders.
But criticism against Marquez -- already known for his rough style in the Moto2 and 125cc categories -- is mounting as race direction said Thursday he was penalised due to "irresponsible riding" in Aragon.
His rival Lorenzo of Yamaha sneered he should be "rewarded" for giving spectators a "better show".
When Marquez touched Pedrosa's bike, he severed a cable, causing his 28-year-old teammate to lose traction control and crash.
Marquez has previously accumulated two penalty points in Silverstone for ignoring yellow flags. If he collects one more point, he will have to start from the back of the grid.