Marc Márquez (Cervera, Lleida, 28 years old) is not used to being cast as a supporting actor. And he rebels. Some days. What The extras of the play by José Sanchis Sinisterra. He looks for stellar performances in well-known settings, as he did at Sachsenring or Austin, while fighting with his other self, the one who assumes that after three operations on the right humerus and spending a year without riding a MotoGP, he is not even the boy today. nor the pilot he was. Now, seventh in the World Cup, he looks for it on top of his Honda. This Sunday (at 2:00 p.m., on DAZN) he will do it at the Misano circuit.
Question. Sleep well?
Answer. After the races I sleep badly, for two or three days and especially the day after the race. The rest of the days I already rest well. I was one of those who slept straight away, but since the injury and until this summer I have been waking up three, four or five times a night, uncomfortable, I change position, I put a cushion under my arm to rest …
P. What does victory taste like now?
R. I said it in Austin, when we were celebrating with the team inside the box: This looks like a World Cup! Is different. Winning before is not that it was routine, but we lived it like: ok, we won; The next. Now it’s more: buah, we’ve won, let’s celebrate, because we don’t know when the next one will arrive. It is more special. But also because we have known how to understand where we are. And every weekend the goals should be more realistic.
P. In his last triumph, in Austin, he placed great importance on being able to do the race he had planned, why?
R. Before I adapted a lot to what each situation required; now I feel more comfortable if I am the one managing the race. As it is so unpredictable how I will find myself in a race, when I feel good I have to attack; and when I feel bad, I have to reserve. When you are in front, you can do that: you can manage yourself as you want, not as your rivals demand.
To which I pack a little, things do not come out
P. How does the condition of your right arm affect your riding style?
R. One of the things I want to improve is that I feel too much difference between how I perceive what I do in the curves to the right and those that are to the left. And that’s not the Honda’s fault. It’s because of my position on the bike. There is too much difference between one side and the other. Riding like this is still difficult for me. To which I want to be natural, I make mistakes, I fall, I go off the line …
P. How frustrating is it not being able to ride the way you want to?
R. It’s frustrating until you understand it. It was very frustrating at the beginning of the season. And that also made me fall more, because I wanted to go more than I could. I quickly realized that when you can’t, you can’t. To which I pack a little, things do not come out for me. At Silverstone I packed a bit too much and the overtaking didn’t work out as I expected. [se coló en una curva y tiró a Jorge Martín, a quien pidió perdón]. And it’s not because I don’t know how to do it, but because I tried to do something that now doesn’t work out for me. So I have to understand the situation I am in and be realistic. And swallow my pride When you can’t, you have to accept it.
P. Kevin Schwantz believes that an injury like his is something you always have in your head.
R. Mentally, the injury doesn’t slow me down at all. When I’m running I don’t think about whether it hurts more or less. I am the first to try to avoid talking about this issue in the box. When my team asks me, I answer, but I try to follow mine. I do not compete thinking that I am injured. But the direct discomfort, the pain, is what makes you think and prevents you from riding the same. Nor is it the same to face a weekend thinking only about the bike, the set-up, doing a lot of laps … than doing it thinking that you have to do two laps thrown in the first free practice and three in the second because you have to physically reserve you for the next day.
P. “I go to Malaysia today and the first thing I do is look at the sky. If I see it very cloudy, that curve will not be the same ”, he confessed a few years ago in reference to the fall that took him five months without getting on the bike in 2012. Did the same thing happen to him this year in Jerez when he returned to the curve three?
R. It happened to me, yes. When I was doing a few laps with the bike around the circuit on Thursday, it came to mind. I will not deny it. I remembered the fall, I stared at the place where I ended up. And then on Friday, during the first free practice on the bike, I didn’t go through that point as usual. But by doing round and round I managed to forget it. If you are afraid, you cut gas. And that doesn’t happen to me. One of the things I did when I returned to Jerez was to assume that I was thinking about the accident. But I asked my team to check the telemetry and compare it to the other Honda riders – it turned out that I was the one going through that corner the fastest.
P. After his first win after injury, at the Sachsenring, he collapsed on reaching the box and in front of the cameras. “It was tough,” he said. What was the worst?
R. It was so long and it was all so long that it was very hard. And it was especially so because of the uneasiness of not knowing what will happen, of not having it controlled; of going to a place and being told that they did not know what was happening, that the bone did not weld and they did not know why; to go to another and to be told that the arm would be good to lead a normal life. Fix it for me! He asked. But no, they told me, it can’t be done yet, you have to wait: a month, two months, and I still had the same feeling. And you couldn’t reopen your arm just like that. All that uncertainty causes that feeling of unease. Going back and also seeing that there really is a physical limitation was also a disappointment. I was thinking of coming back and I would have liked to come back as after the other injuries: you come back, you have a bit of discomfort for a few races, but you pull, and you go on. And period. But spending a whole year like this, running again and seeing that one race is better, but the next you take a step back. And you don’t know why. All that weighs psychologically.
P. Have you got rid of that uneasiness yet?
R. I get rid of it little by little, but it is still there. Because I don’t pilot how I want to. And my goal, even if I don’t get to ride like I used to, is to ride in an acceptable way, feel like myself, fall down and understand why. Now I fall and it’s because I make rookie mistakes. Sometimes I change my position on the bike without realizing it because I am tired. I have never spent so many hours in the physio as this year and in the past. And there I continue, with the physio, with infiltrations for inflammation, with painkillers to be able to endure a race. All of that is a concern that I don’t want to have on a racing weekend.
P. Do you have swelling after exertion, yet?
R. Yes, to which I make an effort, if I rest for three days I’m fine. Perfect for normal life. But the one I force a little, whether it’s in the gym or on the bike, the pain appears. And it changes my character. Today I am happy and I laugh because it does not hurt, but every day I am not the same. Now I can’t go so much on a motorcycle: between big prizes, I go one day; if I can, two. I used to not get off the bike between races.
I was not able to accept that I was not there to win
P. Idols also suffer. But guys like you never like to show their weaknesses in public.
R. Obviously I don’t like it. The weak points, let them find them for you. Why teach them. Of course there are certain moments or situations that you cannot control. I like to control emotions, carry them inside. But there are times when you explode somewhere. It is also true that difficult situations, like the ones I have experienced this year, help you to be stronger. One of my weaknesses was not being able to accept that I was not there to win, that I could not go fast on a motorcycle. This year I am getting it. And if in a training I remain the ninth, I assume it; better moments will come. I was all or nothing. That was one of my weak points. I am working on it and hope it will serve me in the future.
P. Is an opponent that falls apart an easier opponent to beat?
R. No, by exploiting or showing your emotions you are no less rival. If you have finished a race with whatever result and then you fall apart, it is because you control your feelings on the bike, because you know how to differentiate. On the other hand, a rival who loses his papers on the track is less of a rival. Because it is easier for me to lose my papers again.
P. Did you tell Honda last year not to pay your card in full because you did not compete practically the entire course?
R. Yes. There are some contracts involved. And if we had applied the contract, they should have reduced my salary. That I did not do more than one race! I felt compelled to have that conversation. But they respected me and I am very grateful to them.
P. Does that make you have a different perception of the people you work with?
R. Evidently. There have been many people who wonder why I am still at Honda, why I have not changed teams. But a factory and a team are not only tied to the bike and money, I am also tied to the sentimental. And it’s not stupid. For others you are a number, but here I don’t feel like a number. That is very difficult to find in the world of competition.
P. He gave the Aragon GP trophy to the family of Hugo Millán, who died this year.
R. I knew that the boy had started running with my number, 93, I knew who it was, I follow the promotional glasses. And he was there, on the starting grid, thinking about the words his mother had told me: that I was his idol, his reference, that he only looked at me. And that touched me. During the minute of silence, before the race, I looked at the podium. I promised myself that I had to end up there to dedicate it to him and give the trophy to his mother. Nobody knew.
P. The FIM and Dorna have decided to increase the minimum age for competition.
R. It’s very hard when news comes that a kid has lost his life. And difficult to accept. More, when it happens with children. It was time to make a change. It is true that I am not the best person to give advice, because I reached the World Championship with 15 and MotoGP with 20, but it is not necessary. Raising the limit will make everyone better prepared, more mature. At 18 you make other types of mistakes different from those you make at 15. This is good news for motorcycling. Nothing happens to do the right steps and arrive at MotoGP with 24 or 25 years; You have at least 35 to compete. And if you are not worth it, even if it is hard to say it, you are not worth it. Many have to stay on the road.
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