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Marc Marquez in conversation with NBA star Pau Gasol

The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion caught up with the basketball player on Instagram Live

Both Marc Marquez and Pau Gasol hail from Barcelona, but the pair find themselves locked down in opposite ends of the world due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. But modern technology can connect families, friends and fans to stars, and the eight-time MotoGP™ World Champion joined the six-time NBA all-star to talk about their respective sports and answer questions from their fans.

Both are recovering from injuries: Gasol from a left foot injury, which ruled him out of the 2019 season; and Marquez from shoulder surgery, which he admits he suffered with in preseason: “I was a bit affected. But with all this coronavirus it’s helped me. Obviously I’d rather start the season even in a bad way than all of this pandemic”.

Gasol, who connected from the US, asked the Spanish rider how he was passing the time in lock down. “Fortunately Alex is here with me,” said Marc, “that helps, having your brother and family more or less around.” He proudly tells about how his younger brother won the first MotoGP™ Virtual Race before admitting “At the PlayStation I’m not so great,” suggesting it’s a matter of age: “I’m still young but I was one of the eldest in the race.” Before adding “next week there’s another.” Having clearly enjoyed the experience.

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In fact, he tells that the PlayStation is all part of the Marquez brothers’ routine: “We set alarms for when to get up, eat, train, play PlayStation. Having a routine is important”.

Talking about each other’s sports, Marquez says that – perhaps unsurprisingly - it’s the speed and intensity of basketball that he enjoys: “It’s constant: attack and defend, defend and attack. There are no dead moments. It’s constant action. In a minute a game can change”.

On the other side of the metaphorical court, Gasol says he enjoys the attention to detail in MotoGP™. “I like the concentration, the importance of details, the risk and having to control the adrenaline because you have to  risk it all in crucial moments. The team work is important but those moments are the limits are what I’ve always loved”.

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“That’s what makes it hard!” says Marquez, “Going fast in free practice anyone can do but staying concentrated in the race is hard. One mistake can cost you it all”. The pair agree that’s something their sports have in common. “The tension and pressure of the matches is distinct,” says Gasol, “that’s where the players show their professionalism, trying to keep their head and stay calm”.

Looking to the future, Marc and Pau hope to catch up, in person, at the re-scheduled Americas GP in Austin.