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Was Misano a preview of MotoGP™ in the near future? What caused Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to crash out? How did Pol Espargaro stick his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine on the front row? How did Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) get into racing? So many questions, and they’re all answered in Episode 32 of the MotoGP™ Podcast.
Regular analyst and former MotoGP™ podium finisher John Hopkins draws on his own experience when reviewing the Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) battle at Misano, with something very similar – although a very different outcome – happening to him when he was a rookie in the British Superbike Championship in 2011.
“It wasn’t in MotoGP but I had a really similar race myself in Snetterton in BSB 2011,” comments the American. “Even though I was quite experienced at the time, I was a rookie in BSB going up against the multi-time champion, Shane Byrne, and I had actually led every single lap in that race and sure enough on the final lap, Shane finally made his move and passed me.
“We had to have swapped back and forth about three or four times that lap and then finally, I was absolutely seeing red and I just said there’s no one, I’ve led this race from the absolute beginning, there’s no way I’m giving it up. I ended up making a less than…well, a pretty cheeky manoeuvre and unfortunately I ended up t-boning us off the track and neither one of us won! So it would have been the same if Quartararo had knocked Marquez off the track and VIñales took the win! It really took me back to that race…”
The up and coming section at the San Marino GP was, rather fittingly, home rider Marini. Known to many as Valentino Rossi’s (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) half brother, the Italian has made a name for himself in recent years and the MotoGP™ Podcast gets to know the Moto2™ race winner.
“At 14 years old, I said that this (motorcycle racing) can be my life, it can be my future,” says Marini. “I want to continue to have fun on the bike but maybe I can have a good career in this world too. So, at that point I decided to focus full time on this. It’s not like I was just starting to ride at that point… I had ridden for many years before.
“Before then, it was more like a game. I felt more like only having fun, having a free mind and not stressing so much about races. Ultimately, it’s something that’s just fun and not stressful for me. Before 14, I tried to only enjoy it and if I won a race or Italian championship, I was happy but I wasn’t focused 100% on that. I remember Fabio Quartararo, because I raced with him in the European Championship with 80cc in 2011 (maybe?), I remember he was really strong and fast at that time too. Fully prepared, he knew all the tracks. I remember we raced in Montmelo, he was a rider with a lot of experience at 12 years old. He had a totally different approach. Every time, he was with important teams with great bikes and trained a lot from the beginning. I started more slowly, more patient.”
Episode 32 is a belter, so make sure you click this link to give it, and any other episodes you’ve missed, a listen!
As ever, get in touch using #MotoGPPodcast on Twitter! Let them know your thoughts, who you’d like them to interview, what you’re having for dinner, etc…
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