One second position, two wins and a lost victory in Argentina is the sum of Marc Marquez’ season start. Many posit that we are facing another 2014, the season he won the first 10 GPs in a row.
Last season, the one where Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP title, it took nine GPs for him to get to the lead of championship; this season it has only taken four. This is just one example of the strength Marquez has begun in 2018 with. Another example: in the last race at Jerez he won with total authority at a circuit that had always been difficult for him. In fact, “Mr. Records” had climbed to the top of the Jerez podium only on one occasion since his arrival to MotoGP in 2013. These are all indications that we may be facing a year similar to that of 2014 that saw him win the first 10 races of the season and beat several records.
As then, hand in hand with an almost perfect motorcycle—in racing the term perfection is never used—his races have demonstrated that his bike holds an almost insulting superiority. Still fresh in our memory are the images of the ridiculous superiority he held in Argentina; the “easy” win at “his” track in Austin; and even the final sprint against Dovizioso at the little friendly Losail circuit of Qatar. It’s clear that right now Marquez is racing in a higher gear than his competitors.
Last season, the one where Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP title, it took nine GPs for him to get to the lead of championship; this season it has only taken four.
The key to this undeniable superiority can be found in the tool that the HRC engineers have placed in his hands. After three years of technical difficulties that forced Marc to ride on the edge every time he entered the track, this season Honda has finally given him a bike that doesn’t require him to ride on the razor’s edge all the time. You can see this in his results, in the figures and observing how he rides the bike compared to last year. And you do not have to be an expert to recognize the difference.
Last year Marquez’ hyper aggressive riding was the result of the need to recover under braking what he lost in the acceleration phase. He has changed into a Marquez with much more fluid and smoother lines: he no longer squares off every corner, they are rounder now! Another fact: In 2017 Marc left Jerez after the Spanish GP having crashed 8 times in four races; the statistics of this year show he has had half as many. Another revealing number that shows the path Marquez is on.
Last year, due to his motorcycle’s characteristics, Marquez was forced to race tactically, managing his resources; the 2018 RCV allows him now to go out and twist the throttle open wide from start to finish
Furthermore, last year, due to his motorcycle’s characteristics, Marquez was forced to race tactically, managing his resources. And when it comes down to race management, there is currently no more efficient rider than Andrea Dovizioso, as we saw various times last season. It happens that this year Marc’s bike is not affecting his manner of racing. He can go out now and twist the throttle open wide from start to finish, which is what we saw in Argentina, Austin and Jerez … And I’m afraid this is the trend we will continue to see…The echo of 2014 in MotoGP.
To this technical situation of discovery an unexpected bonus must be mentioned: the incident in Argentina, the clash between him and Rossi. Marc will not admit it, at least until he wins the title – if he does win it. But knowing him, Valentino Rossi’s declaration accusing Marc of being dangerous and feeling in danger when he is near Marc on track affected him. And his way of responding is…racing to win alone! And he can do it with the help of the 2018 RCV that Honda has placed in his hands.