The Honda rider started from pole for the first time in three years at Motegi after topping a wet qualifying, but downplayed his chances of fighting for the podium.
Pleased with how his race went in general, Marquez noted that it was the first time since injuring his arm that he was not in pain come the end – though did admit it felt “lazy”.
“I’m really happy, because it was a solid race,” Marquez said.
“It was a consistent race, and the most important thing is I didn’t feel pain during the race.
“I felt like the arm was lazy, I feel tired in the end, but I don’t feel pain.
“For me, this is the most important thing and it was for that reason I could attack Oliveira in the last laps.
“It was a long time ago that I didn’t have that feeling to attack someone in the last laps, because there was pain and then it was difficult to keep the concentration in the past.
“But today I didn’t feel pain, I just felt tired. Everything was under control.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
The six-time MotoGP world champion says his confidence on the bike is getting better all the time, but urged caution as Motegi masked the weak points of the 2022 Honda.
“Of course, the confidence comes higher and higher,” Marquez added.
“But we need to calm down a bit because, as I said on Friday, we are affected less by the weak points of our bike at this circuit.
“So, for this reason I was able to be fast from FP1 because we rode exactly with the same bike more or less as in Aragon.
“But we were closer to the others, so this helped a lot.
“Of course, for a single lap I’m not far from riding like I want.
“I’m not far, but to make a constant pace and control the moments you don’t expect – so some shaking on the brakes, shaking on the change of directions – still I think I can work and I can improve.
“It’s only the second race, so still we have Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Valencia. It’s true it was a good weekend.
“It’s true also that what helped me a lot was the rain conditions on Saturday to keep fresh and helped me also to start on pole.
“So, I’m always honest: a normal weekend I believe will be seventh, eighth, ninth position – not fourth.”