Marc Márquez: "Off the track I'm still the same Marc I've always been"

He’s one of the youngest riders to race at the highest level in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, the youngest to win a race at the MotoGP category and unquestionably a youngster with promise. Marc Márquez, who is racing professionally since 2008, is now only twenty years old and is already competing against the greatest motorcycle riders in the world. The youngest pilot to win a race in MotoGP answers some questions for CNA.

The Catalan pilot Marc Márquez (by Repsol Honda Team)
The Catalan pilot Marc Márquez (by Repsol Honda Team) / Cèlia Muns

Cèlia Muns

July 10, 2013 04:26 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- He was born in Cervera in western Catalonia in 1993, which explains why he has chosen ‘93’ as his competing number. Marc Márquez started to ride motorbikes when he was only four, and he ran his first race at just five years old. Even then it was clear that this was his passion, and it has become his routine, work and way of life. This year Márquez has debuted at the MotoGP category of the championship, the highest category where he competes with extraordinary riders such as Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa (his teammate) or Cal Crutchlow with the Repsol Honda team. The youngest pilot to win a race in MotoGP answers some questions for CNA.

How does it feel to compete with your idol, Valentino Rossi?

It is a different sensation, a little weird I would say. It is a mixture of respect and admiration but it is also strange for me: I have the collection of all his miniature motorbikes and now I am racing against him!

How do you keep your feet on the ground?

Well, I still do the same things I have always done. It’s true everything is going well for me, but off the track I am the same Marc I have always been. I still study, hang out with my friends, sleep at my parent’s house and do the things I have always done. That’s what makes me keep my feet on the ground.

How does your family live through what you do?

They suffer; they are the ones that suffer the most. It is a high risk sport and it is inevitable that the ones who love me suffer every time I get on the motorbike. But they are also the ones who enjoy it the most. It is a mixed feeling for them but after all they are happy for me, it makes them happy to see that I am doing what I have always wanted to do and triumphing at it.

What do you do to unwind and take a break?

I never really take a break. I’m always working or thinking about riding. The truth is I hardly have time to myself and when I have it I go out with my motorbike or bicycle. I logically also hang out with my friends, play with the PlayStation... the things a normal boy does. I also like to play paintball when I have the time; little things because I can’t do much more. But I stay in Cervera as much as I can, that’s where my family, friends and normal life is.

Your best and worst moments on the motorbike...

The best moments: the two world championships I have won (he won the Moto3 category in 2010 and the Moto2 in 2012). Victories are always the best moments. And the worst... all the injuries I have had. Well the injuries are not the worst part, the worst part is the first time I get on the motorbike after an injury, because it is inevitable to be a bit fearful.

How is your relationship with Dani Pedrosa, your teammate?

The relationship is going quite well. It’s clear that there is tension between us because we are competing with each other, it is unavoidable, but the relationship has always been quite good. Well, you won’t go out with a rival and have a drink with him, but we have a normal relationship.

After the controversial overtaking of Jorge Lorenzo, what is your relationship like with him now?

Our relationship is good enough. We talked and left the fight and the controversy behind, these things happen when you are in such a competitive sport and Jorge knows that. And now everything is fine between us, we have a cordial relation.

And what about your idol and current rival, Valentino Rossi?

I have a really good relationship with Rossi. We are really good friends and we are always happy when the other wins. I would say he is one of the pilots with whom I have a better relationship.

Apart from him, who are your riders of reference?

Well, Valentino is my greatest reference pilot, but I would also say Dani Pedrosa even though I am competing against my reference pilots and sharing a team with one of them. There is also Àlex Crivillé, but I was really young when he raced and so I don’t have so many memories of him.

What is your routine when you are at the championship?

I get up at 8 a.m. and after having breakfast I spend the whole day training, I never stop when I am at the championship. I don’t really have time for myself because when I am not on the motorbike I’m training with a bicycle or at a meeting to decide technical or strategic issues. And when I am done with the training I am so tired that I have to go to sleep early, so I can get up early and be ready for the next training session.

What are your team dynamics? What are your principles?

We want the technical staff and the team in general to be human so we can have a close and affective relationship. At the end we have the feeling we are like a family. We spend lots of hours together and we must have more than a good relationship, we understand and know each other a lot. The most important thing to us is this good relation among the whole group, the human side of each one of us.

Do you have a future plan beyond racing?

Wow... not really! I haven’t had time to think of that yet and I don’t want to think of it right now. I like what I am doing and I want to concentrate on it by now, but I think that I will always want to be related to the motorcycling world. I can’t imagine anything different by now.

Are you a bad loser?

Well... I don’t know if I am a bad loser but... I don’t like to lose. So I always try to win.