"Marc asks me to be wilder with the Honda"

The de Cervera rider confesses that he already knew that it would be difficult to make his MotoGP debut with Repsol Honda and that there would be "difficult days".


In-depth interview with Álex Márquez, a novice in MotoGP who goes from less to more. In Misano 1 he was seventeenth 22 seconds behind the head, in Misano 2 he was seventh at 12 seconds, which was his best result with the Repsol Honda, and yesterday he started seventh in Montmeló. It has been said for a long time that the two-time champion is much more than Marc Márquez's brother, although we also asked him about him, of course.

-I asked for this interview before the GP of Misano 2…

-Well, you will have changed the questions. (He starts laughing) .

-Well, yes, because it improved a lot last Sunday. It will still be a matter of asking more times.

- (More laughter). You already know that we won't tell you no.

-Now seriously, what a rush he had to give him last Sunday, with the seventh in the race and a warm up in which he was seen in the lead for the first time. Is that so?

-High gives, of course. Whenever you come to the home GP, you want to do it with good previous results and I think we took a step at Misano. That is clear and we were able to confirm it in the race. There is still a lot of homework to do, which mostly happens through qualifying, but in a rookie year you can't put a real expectation on before a grand prix, because you don't know how the circuit is going to be given to you with a MotoGP and, if you start on the wrong foot, it is difficult to turn the situation around. That said, my realistic aspirations here are to try to confirm Misano and continue to grow little by little.

-What is the step forward you took in Misano?

-Honestly, what helped me the most was the test. I am not talking about preparing for the second race but because it was my first test since the preseason in Qatar. For a rookie, it is very difficult to get to Jerez without spending three months without touching the bike, doing two one-hour runs on Thursday, which is practically nothing, and then it was very difficult to go from weekend to weekend. For this reason, a day with eight hours of open track, to be able to test, the motorcycle, oneself and get feelings. That one gave me the confidence I needed to ride the Honda.

-That theory is understandable, but then it is compared to what Binder is doing in his first year and it doesn't add up.

-Yes, but the only ones that rode during the lock down (the stoppage due to the pandemic) were the KTMs, which rode in both Brno and Austria and two days in Misano. Before Jerez, I think Binder had been on the test bike for three days, with eight hours for him. And Lecuona the same. That helps a rookie a lot and it is very different to have to start directly from Qatar. It was very difficult for me to be at home for three months without a motorcycle and to start with the Qatar GP. What penalized me the most was being away from MotoGP for a long time, and having had many problems before in the Qatar test, where Marc saved him at the end. That was noticeable and I had a hard time starting at that time. That's why the Misano test helped me gain confidence and try things.

-Have you ever had doubts or have you come to say to yourself that you had made a mistake going to the Repsol Honda? 444 444

-No, because from day one I was realistic. I had discussed it with Emilio (Alzamora) and my brother, so I knew where I was going. I knew it wouldn't be easy, that the Honda is a very difficult bike for rookies, and I knew there would be bad days. You have to see Mir, who is now making podiums but surely last year he had bad days. Some doubt enters you, but I never got to say that I was wrong. I didn't want to spend my whole life in Moto2 and one day the year of learning in MotoGP would have to come.

-Did the signing of Pol make you feel bad?

-Well ... It is clear that you never like to have your place taken away from you, but I understood the situation, especially Honda, and the exceptionality that we are experiencing this year with COVID-19. They made a decision before the first race and Honda gave me another chance without having seen me on the track. They liked the first tests, how I explained myself and the way I work. I try to be very professional. I'll make it better or worse, but I come home knowing that I've done the best I could.

-Then you could see the bottle half full or half empty. Did you opt for the former?

-Yes. My contract has not changed anything. I am still HRC and with the same material. And I was already able to be with the Cecchinello team in Valencia and they are very professional. In addition, Cecchinello treats him with great affection and it is important that he does not see this as a business but as his family, and that is how he sees it. Take care of every detail and people. He has team and family harmony in the box and they will help me grow a little more in the shadows, which is how I like it.

-I understand, and in Misano 2 I think it was confirmed that it is a real diesel that ends up working when it warms up, in a second GP and after a test. Do you agree?

-Yes. I lack explosiveness and I'm diesel, which is good for some situations, but for a rookie year it's bad. You have to know how to understand it. I'm very stubborn and, when I set my mind to something… I set myself a goal and I go for it, building things little by little, without running too much.

-And that goal is?

-Enjoy the category. That is the first objective. And then make a hole for myself and one year fight for something nice in MotoGP. I started to enjoy something in Misano 2. In the first races, some mechanics asked me if I had enjoyed it, but I told them that nobody enjoys being sixteen, eighteen or twenty. Yes, I had a good time riding the bike, because that's what I like, but I want the times to come out and that's when you start to enjoy it. Stop and see you in the warm up first that a super nice and brutal feeling. And then, coming back from behind in the race, it is too. It is true that there were falls, but I can also force more and risk the fall. A top 10 with no dips would have been a real position.

-Have you saved the classification of that warm up of Misano 2 in which you appeared first?

-I have it on WhatsApp, because many people sent it to me and one of the people who sent it to me was Marc. He told me: "Well, you're not doing so bad either." (Laughs) And he puts up with me every day and I tell him what it costs me. That's why he told me that.

-In an interview prior to one of the Austrian races he gave him a bang. He said yes, he was a rookie, but he had to step up. How is it most critical and how is it helping you the most?

-In how to treat the motorcycle. Sometimes I am too fine for this bike, too much pencil, and you have to be wilder with it, but without losing the essence of each rider. There are many ways to be aggressive on the bike. There is the brute and there is the one who is in the parts that he thinks he has to be, forcing in the curves. That is where he is helping me the most. The team makes me grow, but in the end Marc knows the strengths of this bike and the Moto2 things that he did well and that don't work here. He sees it from the outside and it is in what he is helping me the most.

-Between us… When is he going to return?

- (smiles). If it were up to me, I'd better be here now, but I don't know. He wants to come back soon, but he doesn't want to rush either. He's got the sensations and he'll know when he's ready to go three hundred and take the whiplash and all.

-How are you wearing it? Does it have to encourage you a lot?

-No. He takes it well. You always have to calm Marc down, because he heats up fast. You have to let go of the rope from time to time, but then you have to pull that rope again.

-How is the environment at Honda? He is in his worst year of results and plagued with injuries…

-It is clear that in some races there has been an atmosphere of concern, because the results or the sensations did not come out and the comments of the drivers were not the most optimistic for the future. But I always stay with the positive, and it is that Nakagami is having his best season in MotoGP and I look at him. Without Marc, he is my reference within Honda. In Misano we already help each other, watching mutual telemetry. He has a lot of cornering and maybe he looks a bit more like me in driving style and in Misano, looking at his videos and telemetry, I took a step forward. So, within all the negative and bad luck, because one slips, the other's plate is broken and I don't know what, because the positive is that Nakagami is in his best year and I am getting better with the motorcycle. We must continue to insist, because Honda's objective is to win.

-Now that you say about Marc's broken plate, look at how hard it is to believe that it broke opening a window ...

-I was not there at that moment, because I was still sleeping, but I tell you it was the window. And also that when they told me that Crutchlow had slipped coming out of the PCR, I asked if it was really like that. It's the same.

Photos from as.com
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