Mar­quez ‘It’s hard fin­ish­ing fourth’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - FEATURE -

Marc Mar­quez came of age in 2016 when he won on a bike that many ex­perts pre­dicted would not be good enough to take the Mo­togp ti­tle.

His win-at-all costs at­ti­tude went out of the win­dow as he was forced to fin­ish races rather than risk bin­ning it.

He said: “It’s hard fin­ish­ing fourth some­times, but I un­der­stand it, and it’s some­thing that I learned in 2015. But in the end, there are some races where you have to take the risk. To be a cham­pion, you need to con­trol it, but some­times also you still need to push and take the risk… some­times!

“I tried to change my rid­ing style, my ap­proach, and it was maybe the year where I had to work the most and to con­cen­trate the hard­est. I had to un­der­stand what races I could win and when I can win but it takes too much risk and I need to fin­ish sec­ond; that was the hard­est thing. Dur­ing the race, I un­der­stand that I’m fin­ish­ing sec­ond and it’ll be 20 good points, but when the race ends, I tell my­self ‘maybe I’ll need those ex­tra five points in the fu­ture?’ You never know, but in the end it worked out well.”

And with this new-found ma­tu­rity and con­sis­tency – and a third Mo­togp ti­tle – you might think Mar­quez is brim­ming with con­fi­dence and look­ing for­ward to dom­i­nat­ing 2017 pro­ceed­ings. But the

Re­spol Honda reck­ons the com­ing sea­son could be his tough­est in the top class yet.

He added: “It won’t be hard to find more mo­ti­va­tion for 2017, be­cause I am fu­elled by the other rid­ers chang­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers and want­ing to still beat them. Yamaha will be very strong with both rid­ers, and Jorge with the Du­cati, so it’s still too early to say how it’ll go, but we need to im­prove a lot. The big­gest threat for me will be Viñales/rossi or Rossi/viñales! It’s too early to say if Mav­er­ick will be harder to beat than Valentino, but he’s fast al­ready.

The goal posts have moved

“It will be harder though, be­cause ev­ery man­u­fac­turer is im­prov­ing a little bit. We have to im­prove the bike a lot in the pre-sea­son, be­cause it’s still not at the level we want it to be. I’ll tell you in the last test in Qatar how hard it’ll be!”

How­ever, de­spite a front row seat to Jorge Lorenzo’s switch to Du­cati – in search of some of that mo­ti­va­tion that Mar­quez has in spades – he is sure of one thing – he won’t be look­ing to repli­cate his coun­try­man’s switch in al­le­giance any time soon.

“Many rid­ers have changed man­u­fac­tur­ers, and not many have spent their whole ca­reer with one fac­tory. In my heart for now, though, it just says to stay at Honda and to be­lieve in Honda. In five years, maybe I’ll have an­other mo­ti­va­tion, but not now.”

ÔIT wonõt be hard to find more mo­ti­va­tion for next sea­sonõ

Will pro­vide his big­gest com­pe­ti­tion Marc leads the two rid­ers he feels Five world ti­tles in the bag and Marc is still only 23 years old him to tame the un­ruly Honda Marc’s new-found ma­tu­rity al­lowed

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