RideFast November 2019


SA's best selling sportbike magazine

nice chunk of horsepower over

the winter, Quartararo could

make life very difficult indeed for

Márquez next year.

That, perhaps, is just the

motivation Márquez needs.

Where Márquez and his team

have been so strong in the past

few years is in their attention to

detail. That expresses itself in

a number of ways. In strategy:

they were the first to try doing

three runs in qualifying, rather

than two, giving Márquez an

extra shot with a new tyre.

They also use FP2 as race

preparation, not bothering to

throw a tyre in at the end to

ensure passage to Q2. They

prefer to concentrate on race

pace under conditions as similar

as possible to the race, chasing

times in the morning sessions of

FP1 and FP3.

In preparation: Márquez

and his team turn up to each

race with a plan to minimize

time lost. They try to cut down

the tyre choices as quickly as

possible, preferably before the

weekend even starts, preferring

to concentrate on understanding

tyre wear over race distance

rather than going back and

forth between similar tyres to

see if one has marginally better

performance than the other.

Márquez, too, is constantly

working on his preparation,

using his training to try to further

hone his technique and look

for ways to improve. He rides

motocross and a lot of dirt track,

and not just on ovals.

To go from this massive crash on the Friday in

Thailand to winning the race and the MotoGP

title on Sunday was truly spectacular!

Around Spain, more and

more dirt tracks are springing up

with a mixture of left and right

corners, and Márquez uses this

to get a feel for how the bike

reacts. And he works on sliding

the front, feeling when it goes,

always at the limit in his quest to

understand just how grip works

on a motorcycle.

Pushing the Envelope

Marc Márquez has moved

the bar in motorcycle racing,

like all great riders who came

before him. The challenge he

now faces is that the riders

coming after him have grown

up watching him race, studying

him on video, reading about his

training techniques, working to

emulate him.

He has gone from upstart

chasing the champions who

came before him – the Valentino

Rossis, the Jorge Lorenzos, the

Dani Pedrosas – to being the

champion the young upstarts

are coming after. He caught

riders who carried the target

on their backs, and has now

transferred it to his own.

Márquez is not yet done

winning. Though he has no

real sense of his legacy – no

riders do: if you gave them

a choice between winning

a championship but being

forgotten, and becoming a legend

while not winning again, they

would choose the silverware

every single time – there are still

targets left to achieve.

Can Fabio Quatararo be the man to take the fight to Marquez in 2020 and beyond?

He did a great job in this his rookie season in the premier class.


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