Guess Who is Back in Town in Barcelona? Marc Marquez Makes Media Event to Watch his Younger Brother Race
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Guess Who is Back in Town in Barcelona? Marc Marquez Makes Media Event to Watch his Younger Brother Race

By FORMULAMotoGPMag - 25 September 2020

Author: Myanna Wedes

The King of MotoGP returned to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend to test out his feeling on the bike, reconnect with his team and provide updated progress on his injury. It is nice to see the Spanish World Champion back in one piece rested and recovering well considering the nature of his injury, though displaying a nasty-looking scar that is surely going to be a constant reminder of that nasty crash. The visit will provide confidence for Marquez to know that he is not being forgotten and in his absence, brother Alex Marquez is doing a wonderful job all things considering on a tough bike to master.

Marc Marquez:“It has been great to come back to the MotoGP paddock and see my team and HRC again. Of course, we have been speaking on the phone, but I have really missed them a lot and it was great to see them, but also my bike again! There was a part of me which certainly wanted to ride again, especially after sitting on the bike but now is the time to be patient. It was good to come here to speak not only with the team but also with Honda as we start to make a plan for 2021. I wish I was riding here at my home race with weekend, but I will enjoy watching it on TV instead.”

For those who have been watching the Spanish rider closely, Marquez has lost some considerable weight as a result of not being able to train in the gym properly and only started cycling and running just recently. The hardest challenge for him will be the muscle in the arm as we know with breaks and recovery, the muscle just depletes. The movement is good for him though it will take time to regain that 100% physical body mass where he can be certain of his ability on track. Some say it could be one month, two or three months before Marquez is ready and able to be bike fit.

Credit - CormacGP & Repsol Honda MotoGP Team (Marc Marquez)

Q: Marc, we would like to know how you feel physically and mentally?

Marc Marquez:“About the physical side, now I am in a good moment. But of course, I am still far from my normal level. It’s true that last week, I started to do some running and cycling. From the cardio side, the legs and the left arm, my condition is quite good. But about the right arm, still I need to make some big steps but now we are starting to do more exercises. I am looking forward to starting to push a little bit more in the gym. But at the moment we must respect the timings and just be patient.

“From the mental side it was hard in the beginning. Because you know, there was nothing to do at home, the days and even the hours were very, very long but now we have a plan a for each day. We do two sessions of physio and then we also train in the gym with my trainer, the left arm, the legs, along with some cardio. So now the mental side is feeling much better, the moment where I suffer the most is during the race weekend because you are watching the race, all the practice sessions from the TV and it is not easy. Aside from this, we can say that I’m happy now. I’m happy because I already feel that we have made some steps forward.”

In looking towards, this weekend’s race event, all eyes are focused on how Andrea Dovizioso, Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi, Jack Miller and Joan Mir will shape up. In the eyes of Marquez, he expected more of title contenders Dovi and Quartararo. In many ways, we totally agree. In the past three races, we have wondered about the French riders level of competitiveness and whether or not his mindset is being challenged by outside factors or his own sense of pressure. Leading a World Championship you are expected to lead is one thing and the other is buying into games within your own mind causing doubt, a lack of confidence and mistakes. On the one side of the garage you have consistency with Dovi and then you have qualifying laps like a raging fire and no one else able to get close. The two riders need to decide soon how they will approach the remainder of the season because it is a very tight World Championship and one mistake can put immense pressure upon the rider and team.

Fabio Quartararo: “It’s great to have another race weekend! Barcelona is a track that I love. One that I’m really looking forward to going to, because I feel that we can manage to get a really good result there. It’s true it has a one kilometre long straight, so we will have to work on a good setup for it. Last year our top speed wasn’t so good there, but we were still able to finish on the podium, so it means we are strong in the other parts of the track. Our pace there can be good, we know that we can be competitive and, of course, I will give my best!”

Credit - (Andrea Dovizioso)

Andrea Dovizioso: "In the last two GPs, unfortunately, we have not been competitive enough, but we try to see the positive side of the two races in Misano: we are on top of the Standings, even if the fight is all open. We still lack speed, and if we want to be able to fight for the Championship title, we can't waste time anymore. We will have to adapt to the asphalt of Montmeló, which will certainly have less grip than Misano's, and this could prove to be a determining factor for everyone. I am sure that if we continue to work as we have done in the last few weeks, better results will come soon."

The psychological games are on between the top nine riders. With that said, there is one rider we must mention who has experienced some serious bad luck and that is Cal Crutchlow. First up it was losing his ride, then it was a surgery mishap and now it was a slip at the circuit which has strained/ruptured the ligaments in his left ankle. Some will say Crutchlow is crazy and others a warrior as he has been cleared for the race and passed as fit! He has definitely a trained pain threshold. Every opportunity to jump on the bike and finish with some strong results will help Crutchlow’s case to stay in the sport and potentially jag the Aprilia ride for 2021. Every decision has consequences and that also relates to a positive vibe which is something Vinales is in the process of mastering as he is 100% an emotional rollercoaster on the bike.

Credit (Maverick Vinales)

Maverick Vinales: “The hard work in Misano paid off and that felt really amazing. We have enjoyed that winning feeling a lot the last few days, and it makes us very excited for the next round. Montmeló is my home race, and I love racing here. I did great races here in the past. Last year, we didn’t get to show our full potential, which was a shame, but we will try our hardest to get on the podium this time. We are working in the right way, and I think we can improve even further, so we need to give our maximum and make it another good race weekend, especially because the championship is very close. I’m now joint second in the standings and just one point from the lead. We have to make the most of this opportunity!”

We do have a thought that if Vinales can find his level of happiness, trust with the bike and tyres that he will excel, pushing the rest of the paddock to perform. This is the race where he can decide on how the rest of the season plays out in competition with the other riders who are hungry because we know when MM93 does return, the challenges will be harder to overcome with such a dynamic star eager to get back to his motorcycle.

This weekend’s circuit is a favourite for many and of course for the Ducati stars. With the bad luck experienced in Misano with a tear off finding its way into Miller’s bike, he will be revved up and excited to start on a fresh note in Spain. The same will be the feeling for his teammate Pecco Bagnia who crashed out of the lead. The heartbreak of losing still creeps its way in front of him and causes chaos to his emotions. With the Ducati factory rider still yet to be announced, we feel Bagnaia has done enough to sign off for the ride alongside Miller in 2021 even with Johann Zarco biting at his heels. The young Italian rider is learning well, has guidance from Rossi, is young and able to be moulded and hungry to succeed. Ducati needs both of these young talents to carry their brand and have a chance of winning after Dovi resigned from the team effective at the end of this season.

Credit - (Espargaro, Mir, Dovi, Marquez and Vinales)

If there is any rider who really enjoys riding at this circuit it is Alex Marquez. He is super excited to have his brother trackside and watching on as his learns the Honda machine more and more race by race. There may be thoughts that because brother MM93 is sidelined, having all the focus on baby Marquez is a bonus because he is staying onboard, bringing home points and having a team supporting him with test rider Stefan Bradl recovering from surgery and more of a discovery rider nowadays. Every experience Alex Marquez is enduring will enable him to become a much better rider and understanding how race scenarios can unfold with his brother on speed dial where required. Although, MM93 is of the opinion that he will take the call if his brother reaches out though never call him because they need to remain independent to one another in order to achieve their own success levels.

Alex Marquez: “We arrive in Barcelona in a good way after our best result so far. I am happy with the progress we have made, and I am looking forward to riding in Catalunya with the Honda. Of course, it will be a different experience to normal and I will certainly miss seeing all the home fans in the stands because this is always a special feeling. Hopefully we can put on a good show for everyone so they can enjoy the race like they were here! The last three years I have taken two wins and a podium here, I enjoy the circuit a lot.”

The intense race load continues. Who do you think has it in them to be crowned the World Champion at this point of the title race?

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