Freddie Spencer was left in awe of Marc Marquez as the two-time MotoGP™ World Champion met the rookie on Saturday. Courtesy of Alpinestars, the American and Spaniard were introduced to each other in Bordeaux, France. The get-together can be watched for free on motogp.com.
The first race winner for Honda under the HRC banner, at Spa-Francorchamps in 1982, Spencer went on to beat Kenny Roberts and thus undercut the late Mike Hailwood to become the youngest ever premier class title winner in 1983. Two years later, he historically claimed both the 500 and 250 tiers in the same season and remains the youngest top class champion.
Spencer’s previous records of youngest pole-sitter and Grand Prix winner were both taken away by 20-year-old Marquez at this year’s inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Despite his demotion in the ‘youngest ever’ archives, Spencer – now 51 and living in Santa Monica, California – is delighted with Marquez’s early-career accomplishments for Repsol Honda Team.
“Riding at the very top level is certainly about belief,” Spencer tells motogp.com in an exclusive feature-length video. “That uniqueness is not so much about the competition; it’s about him performing and him believing he can get the job done. That’s a confidence and I can see it in his riding. Many people ask me, ‘How do you feel about somebody coming along and breaking your records?’ I think it’s great!”
Jokingly apologising to Spencer for ‘stealing’ those all-important records, Marquez admits that statistics and history are not the most significant elements to him.
“Records are always important, but not the most important thing,” he says to the MotoGP™ Legend, accompanied by his trademark smile. “On the Saturday in Austin I said, ‘Sorry Freddie!’ but you still have one record which is the most important one! It’s quite impossible…well, nothing is impossible, but it will be difficult.”
The Grand Encounter: Marquez & Spencer can be viewed in full and for free on motogp.com.