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The MotoGP™ Legend provides motogp.com with his views on the performances of the likes of World Champion Marc Marquez and his rivals.
The three-time 500cc World Champion gave his perspective on the current MotoGP scene starting with his views on the strong results of reigning MotoGP title holder Marquez over the last two seasons as the Repsol Honda rider has notched up two premier class championship triumphs…
What is your view on the way Marquez has performed since his arrival at the top level in MotoGP?
“I think what’s very clear for me about Marquez is that he looks like he has a lot of passion and he loves to race. He loves the fight and he wants the other racers to fight back. Because when you are racing and you are having a big battle with your competitors, if you win or lose you love that fight. This is why you do it, it is more than just winning the race.”
“You work very hard and you think about trying to not make mistakes and where can I pass this rider, where can I go faster. You think about strategy and what your machine is telling you, you think about the guy trying to catch you or you are trying to catch someone. You have so many emotions and one of the very best emotions you can have is to cross the line in front of your competitor. This is what all the work you do during the week is preparing you for. When you walk through the paddock you always want to think that you are the best guy there and the only way you know this is from your result. Right now Marquez has the best results.”
Did Valentino Rossi’s improvement in results in 2014 surprise you at all?
“I am not surprised about Valentino at this stage of his career. I remember the feeling of when I was 22 or 26 compared to when you are 31, or 32, or Valentino’s age. The one thing that you have is experience, you know what is important and what is not so important. When you’re young and your helmet is on you want to go fast all the time. When you are older, like a nice wine, you know where you need to go fast, where you must go fast and where it is not so important. I think Valentino understands that point.”
On the other side of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP garage Jorge Lorenzo was also fighting for victories on a regular basis at the end of 2014. What’s your view on his recent results?
“It’s different when you are a racer and you are at the top of your profession then somebody new comes along, and this guy can be a big threat. In 2013 Jorge broke his collarbone and he still almost won the championship. I think Jorge used a lot of energy then and finally he didn’t win the championship. Maybe he thought 2014 would be easier, but as it was it didn’t work out for him. The reality is in Jorge’s mind that Marquez is here to stay. He is real, he is popular, he’s brave and he loves to fight. But I also know that Lorenzo is the same guy. I know he can do this also. I’m not sure Jorge believed that last year, but my feeling is that he knows that this year he must focus on Marquez. I think we will see a different Lorenzo this year, I think he will be more consistent and his mind should be more ready for the battle. This comes with age.”
Do you think Dani Pedrosa will be a title challenger in 2015?
“I think in the past, Dani can be very strong and then in some races he is not so strong. I think Dani’s weak point has been his consistency overall in the championship. Where he must finish second he finishes fourth. He is being compared to Marquez and I think there is some gap there. But Dani now is getting older so I think he is running out of opportunities to try to beat this guy. Pedrosa reminds me a lot of Luca Cadalora. On a better day, a couple of days a year they were unbeatable. Then some days you would look and say, ‘well you were so fast last week, but this week you were so much the other way.’ This is that consistency thing. When the good guys have a bad day they finish second.”
How about Jack Miller’s decision to move straight up to MotoGP from Moto3™?
“He’s a good spirit for the championship and it’s good for Australia to have a guy in there. For sure he is a big talent and he is interesting. I think he will get used to the bike in a manner so it becomes not so difficult to ride for him, so I expect him to be ok. Sometimes the motorcycle still owns the rider and in this case he is racing against the best in the world on these very powerful bikes. But I think he’ll be ok. Marquez developed pretty quickly. As we can see though the riders, the young ones, the inexperienced ones still make mistakes. I expect him to make some mistakes, but he thinks about things and I think he’ll do ok.”
What do you think about the current electronics packages used by the teams in MotoGP?
“I think these bikes must have some sort of electronic power on them as they are very strong. But I prefer less. I know what the electronics are doing to help the riders get performance is amazing, but for sure it seems to me that the rider should still have a say. One thing that will never change though is that the best riders will always win and will always be at the top. The one thing that has been very good about these electronics is that there are now far less high side crashes and those always hurt very bad.”
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