125cc World Champion Marc Márquez arrives at the first Moto2 World Championship race in Qatar after the most intense winter of his life…
You’ve moved up a level, and with good results. You did your homework over the winter and you’re ready for Moto2, but are you nervous?
Not right now, but I'm sure I will be when the first race starts. I'm not nervous mainly because I enjoy the feeling of having had a good pre-season. We achieved everything we wanted, we made a lot of progress and I'm confident that I’m ready for the first race. I might not be fully ready to fight for victory, because it is my first year, but I will do my best. I know that things will be different in the race than in testing.
Winter should be holiday time for the riders. Have you been able to stop at any moment?
The truth is that after winning the World Championship I've been going back and forth and I wasn’t really able to stop. Just a week at Christmas to rest, relax a bit and disconnect, but I started to work and train immediately because I wanted to be ready for the new bike.
Had you caught so many planes before? Could you give us a list of the places you have gone to?
I couldn’t give you the full list, because I've been to so many places. Portugal, several times to Madrid, Valladolid, Barcelona… but I also went to Finland, Switzerland, Austria… and there have also been places I’ve not been able to visit, such as Italy, because I had no time and Emilio [Alzamora, Marc’s manager] had to go in my place.
'Being received by the King and Queen was very special'
What was the most exciting place you went to?
Each place is different. Sometimes you have a lot of fun and others not so much, but being received by the King and Queen [for the presentation of the Premio Nacional Princesa de Asturias SAR Doña Letizia, awarded to Spain's top under-18 sportsman] was also very special.
You even had an offer to run in the Finnish Ice-Cross championship… ?
It was a joke with Aki [Ajo, former team boss], more than an offer. But it’s true that I was fast and they told me I could compete in a race. However, I prefer road racing!
Your adaptation to the new class was very fast. What was key to that?
I'm certain that everything Emilio has taught me over the years helped me enormously. When I started at age 12, we worked not only on how to take the best line on the track, but also, when I stopped at the garage, on how I had to explain my feelings on the bike and what I’d noticed when I was on the track. In the afternoon we would have a look at the telemetry data and, although I was very young, he would explain many details to me and compare it with what the professional riders did. All that experience was really helpful.
Last year we saw very fast riders in Moto2 that came both from MotoGP and from 125cc. Which style do you think is most suitable to be fast in Moto2?
You need the style of a four-stroke bike, taking into account the engine brake, the weight, and so on. You need to understand your bike and how to improve it to be faster. At the end of the day it's just a bike and any rider can be fast in the end, both coming from 125cc or 250cc or MotoGP. What is really difficult is to make the difference so that you are among the top riders and be able to get onto the podium. To do that, I think it will be easier for a MotoGP rider, as he has already run with heavier, faster bikes with a four-stroke engine and a lot of electronic devices… When you come from 125cc, you have many things to learn, but it depends a lot on the rider.
'If we can be among the fastest, perfect, if not, it’s OK'
Is qualifying work even more crucial to have a better starting place on such a full grid?
Yes, the Saturday session will have a huge importance for trying to get the best possible place on the grid, which will also have three-rider rows. Anyway, you still need to work on your race pace, which in Moto2 is where you can really make the difference”.
Who do you think will be the strongest riders?
The ones we have seen during the pre-season or that were strong in the last season, such as Julian Simón, Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl, Yuki Takahashi, Scott Redding, Simone Corsi… They are riders who already have some experience.
How do you feel about being one of the favourites – do you think you will be able to get on top?
I don’t know. If they think I’m one of the favourites, it means I’m working well and that I'm on the right path, but this isn’t really our battle this year. If we can be among the fastest, perfect, if not, it’s OK…
- Video: Marc Marquez's 2010
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