MotoGP Young Gun
In his second year in the MotoGP 125cc World Championship, Marc Márquez has once again let his enormous talent shine, which last year, helped him to become the youngest Spanish rider in history to stand on the World Championship podium. In 2009, Márquez has been in the spotlight race after race for putting in spectacular performances and also unfortunately, for some as equally spectacular falls on his KTM 125 wearing the colours of Repsol. This has been a second year of learning for the Repsol rider; a year that confirmed his position among the fastest riders battling for the World Championship.
Question: After completing your second year in the MotoGP 125cc World Championship, what are your feelings as you start your holidays?
Marc Márquez: "I start with good feelings, as I think that I’ve had a good season. I’ve made some mistakes I shouldn’t have made, but I’ve done my very best with what I had."
Question: It was clear from the first race that you could be in the battle for the podium, but in the end you only achieved it in Jerez, did you expect better results?
Marc Márquez: "To be honest; yes, because I personally believe that I had a good level and we all thought that the bike would accompany us more. At the end of the season, the KTM was closer to the Aprilias and we did expect a podium or two that I think we could have achieved."
Question: What have you learned this season?
Marc Márquez: "This year, above all I’ve learned to battle hand to hand, because in 125cc almost all races are ridden in a pack and there is always a lot of battling. Furthermore, fighting with a bike that had a few weaker points, I had to learn to make the most of the turns to come out fast and reach the next braking point close to the other riders, etc. Another important aspect, which Emilio Alzamora has helped me with, is managing practices."
Question: Best memory of the 2009 MotoGP 125cc World Championship?
Marc Márquez: "The podium in Jerez, because as well as being the best result of the season, all of the fans were there and what’s more, on one of the legendary circuits on the calendar. I also have good memories of the pole positions, especially the one in Malaysia, where we fought hard."
Question: And a moment in the 2009 125cc MotoGP season to forget?
Marc Márquez: "The falls that are not caused by your own mistakes but by the engine. They are falls that you don’t expect and the body is not as prepared. Fortunately, this year I haven’t had any injuries."
Question: The 125cc category is always open and hard-fought, with lots of riders with options to win battling together, what does it take to stand out from a pack like that?
Marc Márquez: "Apart from being a fast rider, obviously, you need a good bike and team package to get a good set up. In such a tight category, this results in tenths of a second that make the difference. You have to be ambitious; you need someone to give you good advice, and on the track, you have to be decisive and come out of the turns fast to pick up speed."
Question: Over the last two years, we have seen you grow, not only as a rider, but also physically. Do you still carry a ballast? Where is it most noticeable?
Marc Márquez: "Now I hardly carry a ballast and you really notice it when changing direction. In circuits like Brno in the Czech Republic it’s a lot easier to move the bike. Not only because of the lighter burden, but also because I now weight more. I’ve filled out and that allows me to move the bike more easily, more forcibly and lean more. All this helps, and little by little, I’ve changed my riding style to gain more traction and lift the bike earlier in the turns.
Question: Last year, you shared the Repsol KTM team garage with Julián Simón, who returned to 125cc this year and won the championship. How did you see him?
Marc Márquez: "He was the clear winner and he deserved it. He was very constant and in many races he didn’t leave any options open, clocking up a very fast pace from the first day. We have to congratulate him. He had to win, but that did not weight him down and he did it, proving that he is an outstanding rider and that he will continue going very fast in the future."
Question: Which race did you most enjoy?
Marc Márquez: "Donington Park, with the track dry, I was battling for the podium and it was a good race. Jerez, too. In races in which there was a battle and I was up front fighting it out; those are the races I most enjoyed."
Question: Which riders do you think are strong for next season?
Marc Márquez: "There will probably be many, like this year, although the most consistent riders will have the best options in the end. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the pre-season, which riders quickly move up and catch up with the fastest, because things can always change and new rivals can arrive. But, in principle, they will be Bradley Smith, Nico Terol and Pol Espargaró and I’m sure that there will be one or two others. We’ll try and be in the fight with them."
Question: Who is the most intelligent, dangerous, in closely-fought races?
Marc Márquez: "At the end of a race, all rivals are dangerous. Smith is very hard to stop if he picks up a good pace from the start and Espargaró and Terol are hard to beat."
Question: After KTM officially pulls out, what do you expect from your first outing with Aprilia? What can you say about this bike from what you’ve been able to see from your rivals on the track?
Marc Márquez: "I hope to adapt as quickly as possible. From what Julio [Simón] has told me, it will be easier for me to adapt coming from the KTM because the chassis is similar, but I’ll have to try it. The engine is more constant and that was the biggest difference on the track because it always seems to perform well, so we’ll have to test a lot and do a good job to understand it fully and get a good base for the season."
Question: Where does Marc Márquez have to improve to have options to win races and fight for the title?
Marc Márquez: "I think that my weakest point is consistency. It is important to finish races because that’s where you gain experience and it allows you to win and opt for the title. You also have to constantly polish your riding style a little."
Question: How are you going to tackle next season?
Marc Márquez: "I think that I can have a good year, and although I haven’t tired the new bike and don’t know how I will adapt, I will start the season determined to fight for the podium and be out in front. But first of all, we have to concentrate on putting in a good pre-season, adapting well and that will allow us to go on and have a good year."
Question: What are Marc Márquez’ plans between now and the start of the 2010 World Championship?
Marc Márquez: "Now, I’ll take a holiday and a little later, start working on the physical aspect and training on a motocross bike to be on top form when testing starts. I also have to study, as this is the time of the year when I can study more regularly. I can also spend more time with my family and friends and with everybody."