During the recent MotoGP test at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, Motorcyclist sat down with HRC MotoGP riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez for a brief interview. During this conversation, MotoGP rookie Marquez discusses the challenge of learning new tracks, the differences between Moto2 and MotoGP, and the secret to selecting the right underwear.
(Check recent posts for the interview with Dani Pedrosa.)
Motorcyclist: Do you enjoy the challenge of learning tracks, or would you rather focus on improving at a track you already know?
Marc Marquez: I like the new tracks, because they are different, and it is another motivation. And this one is quite special because it has many tight corners, and many hard braking points. For a rider it is difficult because you’re struggling a lot, it’s hard for physical conditioning to keep the weight on the rear and try to be consistent.
MC: Coming from Moto2 where the bikes are very similar, would you rather that the bikes in MotoGP were more similar, so that racing was more dependent on rider skill? Or do you think it’s important to have different types of bikes and different engines competing side by side?
MM: No, I think MotoGP is a real race bike. Moto2, okay, it’s a race bike, but in the end it’s a standard engine and you can just play with the setup and the geometry of the bike. You cannot play with the electronic side, or with the gearbox. When you come to MotoGP it’s very difficult for a rider, but it’s the best step if you have a team with experience, it’s easier for me and for a rookie rider.
MC: So you like having all of those options for adjustment?
MM: Maybe it would be easier without so many electronics. It would be easier, but it would also be more dangerous on the track. In the end it’s the same for everybody. When you have so many things [to adjust], you need to be so concentrated on the track. That is another one of the biggest differences from Moto2. In Moto2 you just concentrate on the setup of the bike, but here [in MotoGP] you need to think about geometry, about suspension, about the gearbox, about engine braking, traction control, anti-wheelie, many things that you need to concentrate on because, if not, you understand nothing.
MC: Do you ride when you’re not on the track?
MM: I like motocross a lot. Without jumps, because they [sponsors] don’t want me to take jumps [laughs]. But, especially in the winter time, I ride a lot, sometimes three times a week, motocross.
MC: Do you have any superstitions?
MM: Just…in practice I use blue underpants. And race, red underpants [laughs]. I start since I was 11 years old, like this.