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GP Week : Issue 124
Eighteen in February, 125 champion Marc Marquez brings a maturity to his racing beyond his years. He arrived in Moto2 at the top of the time-sheets. Is he Spain’s next big thing? He spoke to MICHAEL SCOTT 5 Minutes with ... MARC MARQUEZ GPWEEK: What’s the hardest thing going 125 to Moto2? MARC MARQUEZ: In the beginning the most difficult change is from two-stroke to four-stroke. It’s quite a big difference. I t was not difficult to get good confidence in the bike even with the extra weight, but engine braking is the most difficult also. Hard to find the brake point, because there you have the engine braking and with the two-stroke you have nothing. You were really fast in testing, without crashing. Then when racing started you crashed out of the three first races before winning the fourth. Why so? At the test I’m alone; I have all the day to find the best set-up. In one race weekend, you have just 45 minutes each for three free practice and one qualifying session. And then in the race you have many riders there, you have to pass many riders with a full tank. Also that was a little bit difficult for me in the beginning, because 18-20 litres feels quite a lot and this is quite difficult. In Qatar I had maybe too much confidence, push too much. In Jerez, Le Mans, I was unlucky. Portugal was different. I pushed Redding because I made a mistake in the brake point. And then I improve step by step. And that huge crash in Silverstone morning warm-up, when your bike went on without you to smash itself to bits on the pit wall. It was so easy to crash in the rain. While I was sliding I saw my bike was completely upright, going along alone. When I saw it hit the pit wall I thought: “No, it’s not possible.” Then when I saw the bike I thought:”Okay, this race we don’t start.” But the mechanics made a per fect job, though of course the bike was not the same: another chassis, another swing-arm, everything different. But I could do the race. What’s the difference, 125 to Moto2, in the racing? In 125 if you need to pass another rider, it’s easier. You can pass maybe in every corner. In Moto2 you need to be very clever. And also the biggest difference is in the beginning of the race. In 125, you don’t feel a lot between the full tank and nearly empty. But in Moto2 from the beginning to the end of the race the bike changes quite a lot. The tyre wear and the fuel weight change everything, and you need to adapt your riding style to your bike. In 125 from the beginning to the end it’s completely the same: every lap you can make what you want and you don’t need to change nothing of your riding style. Is it scar y in Moto2 – so many bikes, all about the same speed, big groups of riders? Yeah, this is most difficult, because all the bikes are the same and all the riders more or less are the same in weight. Or the weight makes no much difference. For example some riders are more than 20 kilos more than me, but when I follow them I don’t ’ have any advantage, because I open the gas and the bikes are the same. Passing is so difficult. You need to work a lot with the team for find a good set-up and make the difference on the corners. Is there one rider you like passing more than any other rider? No, all are too strong and everyone so fast, so I want to learn, for sure ... from Simon, Luthi, Bradl, Takahashi, because they have more experience than me. How long before you go to MotoGP? No, I never think about this. Just I want to concentrate in Moto2 and then if someday I have the level to go to MotoGP, for sure it’s one of my dreams. But first I want to do my job in Moto2. So many strong riders from Spain – how did the system work for you? The Spanish federation works a lot on the base, and this is the most important. When you start. My family doesn’t have a lot of money and it was difficult to start, but the Spanish federation, the Catalan federation helps the fathers and makes a cup, so it’s cheaper for everyone. And you can start there, and there the teams find the riders. It’s a place where everyone can show his talent and his level. This is the most important for sure. In my case, I was very lucky, because one team, when I was nine years old, saw me, and from then everything was free. If that team hadn’t taken me, maybe now I would be in motocross or something similar. You’re just 18 and already a World Champion. Does that change you? What are your home circumstances. No change. I still live at home with my parents and my younger brother Alex. Is he a racer? Yes, he is racing in the Spanish championship now. In the Catalunya Caixa Repsol team – like my team, but the junior team. He’s 15 years old. What’s your idea of the best weekend away from racing? If I can go with my brother to make motocross or supermotard, I enjoy it a lot. No other special hobbies. I like cycling a lot, especially mountain bikes. What was the last movie you watched? Pulp Fiction. I liked it. It’s difficult to understand. And the last song you listened to on your iPod? I don’t know. Maybe ... I like a lot The Offspring. 18