October 11, 2020 will mark a before and after in Àlex Márquez’s career (Cervera, 4/23/96). It was the day of his first MotoGP podium and, having seen the first day in Alcañiz, he is still on the upward path. Telematically attends Mundo Deportivo from the Motorland Aragón circuit.
How many times have you watched the Le Mans race again?
I saw her just after the race finished, leaving on the way to the airport and then at home calmer and with Marc doing physiotherapy behind. I missed some advancement of realization, Cal’s, we do have the videos, but it was not seen on TV and it was a beautiful advancement. But Dovi’s was the best because he was the one who made it more difficult for me because the Ducati on the straight has a great top speed. Honestly, it came out there and I didn’t expect it, it was there or after the chicane on the back straight and try it out and make a block pass. I lacked the middle behind for the last laps, but it was already going to Lourdes and asking for the miracle ”.
What was Marc saying to him?
He didn’t say anything (laughs). He knows that in water when you have the feeling and the day everything works out for you, he told me that he had a lot of nerves, he told me 10 times. But now it does not mean that as I have gone fast in water, now every day I will go fast in water, it depends on the tire circuit.
You have gone from a year of winning the Moto2 and racing title and visiting the podium a lot to another looking back and on top of other rookies or former teammates like Binder and Oiveira winning races. How have you handled it?
It has been a strange year, with new rear tires that give a lot of play in the races, and strange to understand. I was calm because from the first moment I set very realistic goals and that at the beginning of the year I would have to suffer and after confinement it would be difficult to start because it always costs me a bit, I need time. The other rookies being in KTM and having concessions had the advantage of doing tests and I did not have a test day until after Misano1. I just needed that, a test day and a lot of laps and get the confidence I need. I got along well, but it is clear that there were days that were morally difficult and that I was in a bad mood because the last thing I wanted was to talk to people, but I had people around who played and I knew that with small details I could improve.
Are you one of those who listens in those moments of obfuscation or prefers not to know anything about anyone?
I listen, but if I’m not interested, no, you know (laughs). I’m not being ugly, but I keep only the information that interests me (laughs), but like everyone else, huh.
Was the click you made on Misano more about Àlex Márquez or more technical and about the pieces you could try?
It is difficult to say something concrete, I also notice the click that Nakagami gave that he felt better with the bike. It has been a bit of Àlex and a bit of Honda that has helped me to have more confidence with the bike. They have not been revolutionary pieces that have changed the whole bike, but rather they allow you to gain confidence in a different way and feel more about the bike. In Austria we already changed the setup at the beginning of the year, it was very standard but it had a limit, and from there we already confirmed that the direction was good and with the new parts we complemented well “
Since you arrived at the World Cup, it is the first time that you have not been close to your brother Marc. How have you noticed his absence the most?
As for asking questions, everyone has their team and their work and you cannot be depending on your partner, and in this case on Marc, to take steps forward. But it is clear that all that is travel, the idle hours on the circuit that this year have been many more, in the motorhome, everything is different and that is where I have missed it the most. I was used from the first year to have him by my side and in cases of doubts or difficult moments like this year to have his support.
Have they been permanently connected?
No, constantly, not because when you finish a workout you don’t want to be on your phone either. But in the afternoon when the technical meeting is over, I call him and we talk for a while.
Does the podium at Le Mans erase previous troubles? Will you be able to enjoy the category?
Days like this are comforting, it is the reward for all the work and for the bad days in which things have not just turned out, it is a message that if you keep working, many more days like this will come. It gives you an extra gas to keep insisting and working.
Do you think this podium is a double-edged sword and that now everyone expects it to be there in every race?
People can expect it, but I am realistic and I have already said it is a podium in water and it does not mean anything. Still a year of rookie, nothing has changed, all rookies have very bad days. Hopefully the roller coaster is flatter and always climbing. The pressure from outside has been on from day one and we cannot change that.
There are five races left and the cold and rain are not out of the question. Are you ready for more surprises?
I said it at the beginning of the year, the goal was top-8, top-10 and I keep it. And the ‘strange’ days are opportunities to shine, without pressure to play a championship you can risk more and you have to take advantage of it and the first opportunity has already come and it takes a load off my shoulders because the first one you have taken advantage of and if there are more opportunities you can risk more.
Petrucci and you, first and second at Le Mans, have been through the same situation. They were left without a place in their teams before the World Cup began. With this podium, have you claimed anything?
Claiming no, I haven’t felt that I had to claim anything either, it is clear that when you sign for a team like this you have to do your job well and that’s what I did at Le Mans. Being able to enjoy on the bike is what rewards you the most, being able to run so freely was the first time on this bike. Who you vindicate yourself with is yourself.
But next year you will be out of Repsol Honda, don’t you feel sorry?
I already accepted it perfectly when the decision was made because it does not change anything in my contract, I am still two more years a Honda pilot. Wearing these colors and being in a team with so much history is a pride and until the last day I will defend them. Going to the LCR is not a step back, but to the side to continue building my MotoGP career and why not, to come back stronger to Repsol Honda.