Mar­quez wins on the dirt

P65

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Si­mon Pat­ter­son MCN MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

‘ The wolf climb­ing the hill is hun­grier than the wolf at the top of the hill’

Marc Mar­quez has beaten the pick of the world’s flat track ta­lent at their own game by dom­i­nat­ing this year’s Superprestigio race in Barcelona, tak­ing the over­all vic­tory from for­mer Moto2 world cham­pion Toni Elias, with Amer­i­can dirt spe­cial­ist Brad Baker back in third.

Mar­quez, the host of the an­nual sta­dium race in Barcelona, was al­most un­stop­pable on the night, mak­ing the most of his ex­pe­ri­ence with not only the 450cc sin­gle cylin­der ma­chines but also with a much shorter track than usual, run­ning on only a 180-me­tre oval rather than Amer­ica’s usual mile­long track.

How­ever, he was ex­pe­ri­enced enough to make the right call on tyres for the fi­nal race of the night to make the score now two-each be­tween him and arch-ri­val Baker over the event’s four years. The AMA Pro Flat Track cham­pion had to ad­mit at the end of the night that it might be time to stop spend­ing so much time train­ing with Mar­quez and his Euro­pean friends!

“I will have to start go­ing a bit slower now and play some mind games with them! I’m go­ing to have to work harder to be­come bet­ter at it my­self too, but it’s not very easy, be­cause these guys train track rac­ing, su­per­moto, mo­tocross – and I’m rid­ing on big­ger bikes on longer tracks. They only do it a lit­tle bit of their year, but so do I, and I can’t com­mit to putting all my eggs in a 450cc bas­ket on a short track.

“It would have been cool to not have been beaten by Marc – to remain one of the very few peo­ple in the world never to have been beaten by him, but now that Marc did beat me, it cre­ates a story for me to come back and beat him again. The wolf climb­ing the hill is al­ways hun­grier than the wolf at the top of the hill – and now I’m right at the bot­tom! That gives me ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion to come back next year!”

How­ever, Mar­quez didn’t get ev­ery­thing right on the night. He had a high-speed tum­ble early on and ad­mit­ted that his Rep­sol Honda Mo­togp bosses might not have been de­lighted!

“They know that with me there is al­ways some risk; they have to un­der­stand that! This year in Mo­togp I changed my men­tal­ity a lit­tle bit, but at Superprestigio I am free! They’re not here, they can’t speak up to me!”

How­ever, it was a bad night for the five-man Bri­tish con­tin­gent, with only Oli Brind­ley mak­ing it out of the heat stages and into the open class fi­nals – only to have his night ended by some­one else’s crash.

Brind­ley said: “If you go a lit­tle bit wide some­one would just ram you all night, and it was just one of those nights. It’s all good fun, I suppose – or is it? The level has picked up since I first started com­ing, and that’s why there were so many crashes.

“There’s only so fast you can go on a track like that, and ev­ery­one is just ram­ming each other to get in front. There’s no easy way of putting it – it’s dirty!”

Span­ish fans cheered their hero on

Let’s hope the cam­era on Marc’s lid is fac­ing back­wards

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