AL­WAYS THE JOKER!

He's a man who has wowed and di­vided opin­ion in equal mea­sure since he first hit Mo­toGp in 2013. Now, in his fifth pre­mier class sea­son, is Marc Mar­quez still a joker?

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Thank whom ev­er­for Marc Mar­quez en­ter­ing Mo­toGP –be that your pre­fer red­de­ity or thep­er­son of our alight choice –be­cause the lad set the se­ries in 2013. when he en­tered five sea­sons ago the boy No mat­ter­what youmay think of won­der, which side of the fence you may sat atop come down on, or even if you’ re still the it, one can­not deny that Mar­quez gave se­ries a royal kick up the col­lec­tive ja ck sie. And nowin2017, nearly five sea­sons he’s and three Mo­toGP world ti­tles later, was still do­ing it. His im­pact on the se­ries he won im­pres­sive, and not just in the way of the races and ti­tles. He made the rest pack se­ri­ously up their game, while the more than fill­ing the void left by ab­sent Casey Stoner. cut He also brought some much-needed had and thrust back into the rac­ing, which to the been mostly miss­ing for afew years, had se­ries’ detri­ment, quite frankly. There been far too much kiss­ing and hug­ging go in go ni np arc fer me for far too long, in ouropinion. ‘have Then when you ally that fact to his of skill he ago’ at­ti­tude andthe in­sane level Honda, shows ev­ery week­end on the fac­tory the real it’s easy to de­duce thatthe kid is deal, the proper pack­age, and ev­ery­thing Mo­toGP needs to re­main pop­u­lar while yet its peren­nial cash-cowedges sadly, in­evitably, closer to­wards re­tire­ment. at We first spoke to Marc in per­son an Sil­ver­stone dur­ing201 3, andthe kid was ig­nore ab­so­lute­joy.Not only did he glee­fully PR man afor­ever tut­ting and watch-tap­ping (and in fact, ex­tended our in­ter­view way he was be­yond its agreed bound­aries be­cause and hav­ing fun, much to MrPR’scha­grin any­thing. build­ing rage…), but he was up for In fact, agame of ‘happy-slaps’ (which, into in­ci­den­tally, I won, FYI ), de gen­er­ated some­what of alight-hearted scrap. of It was afar cry from the ma­jor­ity GP rac­ers in­ter­views we’ ve held with most an­dit over the years, a breath of fresh air guy. In was sim­ply im­pos­si­ble to not like the we’ll fact he (like an­other cur­rent GPracer the bik­ing get to later), was as in­ter­ested in own stuff we were up to as he was in his al­lthe ca­reer. Usu­ally we’ re the ones ask­ing a ques­tions, but not in this case –it­was re­mark­able hour or so, to put it mildly. and So, roll for­wards nearly fourseasons once again we’ re­sat in the Rep­sol hos­pi­tal­ity, to the at Sil­ver stone, and once moreto chat hap­pened joker of the pack. A great deal has in the in­ter­ven­ing years, in­clud­ing three amount world ti­tles, epic ac­tion an­dahuge that of con­tro­versy. Added­tothat is the fact twice, ear­lier that­same­day he crashed ti­tle re­mains hurt­ing his hand, whilethe 2017 of pres­sure firmly in the bal­ance. That’ s a lot my­self on stil­ly­oung shoul­ders, and Ifind won­der­ing ex­act­ly­what kind of guywe’ll be meet­ingthis time around? It’sclear we’ve­been given as lot at a re­ally GP busy­time; he’sjust done his­reg­u­lar journo brief in English and then Span­ish are­ally in an al­cove above us,and there’s hov­er­ing ner­vous look­ing BT Sport pro­ducer around like an over-caf­feinated he­li­copter, chew off. one rapidly run­ning out­of­nails to uses his Soon there­after he hov­esinto view, left hand forashake andthen we’re­sat down ready to roll in front hiswide, trade­mark joker grin. So, Marc, fivesea­sons in Mo­toGP,and you’re stillsmil­ing? two “Yes of course, whynot?And af­ter crashesto­day, too! Yo ual­ways need­tosmile, to be pos­i­tive, al­ways.”

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