Marquez wins on the dirt
‘ 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