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GP Week : Issue 183
Like Jorge Lorenzo before him Marc Marquez has blazed into the big class like a high-explosive: a win in his second race, plus two poles and a full house of rostrums in the first four rounds. Lorenzo was his most high-profile victim, in a crunching last-corner clash at Jerez that cost the older rider second place, and his considerable dignity. He was still calling for a points penalty a fortnight later at Le Mans, where we met Marc, as courteous and cheerful off the bike as he is merciless when on it. GPWEEK: We need to start with the Jerez crash. MARC MARQUEZ: (smiling broadly) Hah. Directly! You were punished several times in Moto2. Was there any worry in your mind when you made the pass? No. I didn’t think that. Maybe if it is in the middle of the race or the beginning of the race, then okay. But I never thought that because already that accident happened on that corner many times before. If Lorenzo had done different, closed a little bit the line – sure I didn’t try. I would have to do a bad line, then for sure I am not able to pass him. When I saw that he did his normal line, then I think: okay, I try. Then Jorge tried to close you off, and you collided. If he had picked up and let you go, would you have made the corner? Yes, we saw on the data. We checked on that. I was a little bit on the limit, but when I touched with him, I had released completely the front brake. That means that I had already stopped the bike when we touched. But I think if he had picked up the bike, and I went on the same line, then he would be more tight on the exit and he will pass me. He thought about that for sure, but he didn’t take the best decision. You’ve just come from the rider’s briefing, where there were angry words from Lorenzo. Does it change anything for you? It was Lorenzo talking. I know that he is angry ... but for me, no, for me it was okay. Is this tough overtaking something you’ve brought with you from Moto2? You have to be tough there. In MotoGP, even more. If you want to pass some rider you need to have a good confidence and be clear. If not, the bike is a little bit more heavy, the speed is even more, so it is more difficult to pass the riders. But if you prepare well, you can pass them. Is Moto2 a good class for MotoGP training? It’s good especially for battling with other people. Always you are fighting. Normally it’s a big group fighting for the podium. From this I learned a lot. I also learned to take my best and always give my 100 percent, because it is so difficult to make the difference in Moto2. Then when I came in MotoGP, the electronic side, all was completely new. So about that Moto2 is zero. You can learn nothing. This was too big at first, but step by step, now I am happy. How much are you still learning, or changing your style. Still changing a bit. For example, in Austin, I never rode there in Moto2. So when I arrived in the beginning I had the line for MotoGP. In Qatar also it was difficult, but because the track is quite bad. But in Jerez the track is a little bit smaller, and there I feel it more. Here in Le Mans also. With the riding style of Moto2 I use too much banking, too much track; with MotoGP you need to make tight lines, and pick up so early. Where, what percentage, would you assess your level now? I don’t know. With the bike every time I feel better. In Jerez, from Friday to Monday in the test I could feel a big change on my riding style and with my bike. I think the next three races will be important – especially here at Le Mans, because you know with the weather and everything, it rains some days, then I will not have time to find the best setup. [It did rain. Marquez rode through to third.] Mugello and Montmelo are quite difficult circuits it will be important how is my level of set-up. I think we will see if I am really 100 percent or ... Something you share with Stoner, also Spencer, the guy whose youth records you’re breaking: when you ride the bike, you look fast. You mean always push? This is my riding style. Sometimes when Emilio [Alzamora, his mentor and former 125 champion] is going on the track, he will say: ‘You look now like you are the faster rider, but when you see the lap time it is plus 0.5 or plus 0.6.’ But I always try to push. Spencer was racing before I was born. Casey I remember more, and it was unbelievable for the fans. So nice. But sometimes I try to be like Jorge, because will be better for the bike, for the tyres, for your physical condition. So I try, but in the end I can’t. Dani also, he is fast, but also his bike is so smooth, with the throttle and the brake. At the MotoGP tests, with this power and brakes and everything, it was too much. Every corner I was on the limit to crash. Then step by step I try to be more smooth. Every time I am becoming smoother. Maybe one day you’ll be so smooth you look slow. I don’t want that. 5 MINUTES WITH MARC MARQUEZ MotoGP's exciting new star talks to MICHAEL SCOTT about that last corner moment ... 5 MINUTES 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: