MotoGP: Interview with Marc Marquez. Big People Make Big Plays in Big Days.
If you tuned into Moto2 at any point in 2012, casual fans and experts alike would have been captivated by one man, week in week out. To encapsulate the Championship race, it could have been done with four words. Dominated by Marc Marquez. With nine race wins 14 podiums out of 17 races, he never looked to be off the podium and was only out of the points twice when he retired in Le Mans and Malaysia, showing that his wet weather skills may need to be brushed up on. From 2011 in Moto2, he has started 32 races and has won half of all the races he has taken part in and has been on the podium for 78% of them, I was fortunate enough to ask him some questions.
Dan Takyi: Firstly, how did testing go?
Marc Marquez: At the moment it’s going really well. Yesterday we didn’t do many laps due to the rain showers in the afternoon and the track was quite slippery. Today is completely different and much hotter which makes it difficult with the tyres. In general I’m happy as we’re at a pretty good level and we’ve begun to try many different things with bike set up and have collected a lot of data.
DT: What would you say are the main differences between Moto2 and MotoGP bikes?
MM: The biggest difference is for sure braking stability and the brake point. In Moto2 you slide a lot and don’t brake so hard, but in MotoGP it’s quite different. Of course the acceleration is also increased and the general work on the bike is different due to all the electronics.
DT: What are your aims for this season?
MM: At the moment I’m focused on pre-season. After this is over, then we will take it race-by-race and I will try to do my best. For the end of the season, my goal is to be able to show Honda and Repsol that I’m grateful for the opportunity and that I tried 100%.
DT: Who would you say is your main rival?
MM: Everyone! But in particular Lorenzo, Valentino and Dani are the strongest riders with their incredible experience.
DT: What are your top three moments from your 2012 season and why?
MM: Probably my first victory in Qatar after I came back from my injury, then my win in Misano because it was a key point in the season. Also my last two races when I won the championship and in Valencia where I had a strong race.
DT: What parts of your riding do you need to improve on?
MM: At the moment I’ve improved quite a lot since November! But I still feel I need to improve in braking stability, my position on the bike, and also in the middle of the corner.
DT: Is a title challenge out of reach this season?
MM: I think so, I’m not really thinking about that. Jorge and Dani are riding so well at the moment and also Valentino is very strong coming back to Yamaha after a difficult two seasons.
DT: What have you learnt as yourself as a rider and a person throughout last season?
MM: In Moto2 you learn to fight in the final laps and to give 100% in all situations because making the difference against the other riders is quite difficult.
DT: Do you feel pressured or honoured to be replacing a great rider like Stoner?
MM: I feel very good, I’m in the best team in MotoGP with a fantastic history. It’s a big responsibility to replace Casey but it’s a dream come true for me to be a Repsol Honda rider and I will try 100%.
DT: Lastly, can you beat Dani next season?
MM: I don’t think so. I can see his level is much higher than mine!
By Daniel Takyi - MotoGP correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing In the pictures: Marc Marquez Pictures courtesy of Repsol Honda Team MotoGP