Outgoing MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez today spoke about one of the most difficult weeks of his life.
Two weeks ago Marquez was accused of sabotage by Valentino Rossi, with the Italian claiming that Marquez was trying to help his compatriot, Jorge Lorenzo, win the 2015 MotoGP World Champion. He was then involved in the highly controversial clash with Rossi.
Subsequently Marquez has been the subject of intense criticism from fans around the world for, in their eyes, interfering with Rossi’s title chances. He was also at the centre of an ugly clash with Italian TV presenters after their went to his house to give him a patronising award.
“Honestly, it’s been one of the most difficult weeks in my life,” said Marquez.
“After Malaysia I tried to forget and concentrate 100% for the last race of the season, but it’s not possible. In Sepang I already said what happened [about the Sepang clash] of course my feeling is the same but I will not say it again because like Jorge and Valentino say, Carmelo [Ezpeleta] and FIM ask us to only speak about Valencia, like Honda did with the telemetry. They will show after the race, because we are here, like I say.
“The fans must enjoy the race and we must enjoy the last race of the season.”
In spite of all this, Marquez says that his only regret is not being able to finish the race in Malaysia.
“I regret just that I don’t finish the race for my team and for my target. Every race I am trying to do my best like everybody in his job, in his work: when you are working you are trying to do your best and every time I go out on the track I am trying to do my best for my sponsors, for my team,” he said.
“I did in Malaysia, I did in Australia and in Japan and I will try to do [the best he can] this weekend, try to finish in the front or in the podium.
“It was a hard experience and it is not easy for a rider, at 22-years-old, to be like this, but I think for the future this will help me a lot because I learn many, many things. I will continue learning and we must improve for the next season but my target is always to try to fight for the championship.”
With the high tensions around MotoGP this weekend, and extra police being called in by local authorities, Marquez has echoed the sentiments of Rossi and called for all fans to just enjoy the season ending spectacle in Valencia.
“We are trying to prepare well for the weekend and try to finish the season in a good result if possible like every weekend, fighting for the victory. If not, fighting for the podium,” he said.
“What I say on the spectators is that sure, they love the MotoGP just like me, and I remember when I was a baby I was coming in the circuit to enjoy the show of the bikes and the Valencia race is always special for MotoGP. What they need to do is enjoy the show.
“We know that somebody will follow Valentino [Rossi], somebody will follow Jorge [Lorenzo], Dani [Pedrosa], me and other riders but in the end, everybody is here to see the bikes, to see this show and the most important thing is to enjoy the weekend.”
In the wake of the intense abuse and criticism he has been a victim of the past fortnight, it would be easy for Marquez to re-evaluate the way he rides his Honda RC213V, however the two-time MotoGP World Champion insists his mentality has not changed and he will continue to fight for the best position possible.
“My mentality and my spirit for racing will keep the same, nothing change. If I need to fight against my team-mate, I will fight against my team-mate, if I need to fight against Jorge, I will fight against Jorge and if I need to fight against Valentino, I will fight against Valentino
“We will see if I am fighting for first place, second third or fourth but in the end always I try to get the best result for my team and for me.”
With Valentino Rossi presumably not a factor for Marquez to worry about after his appeal against the FIM’s decision was upheld by the Court of Arbitration, Marquez pointed out that the title fight isn’t over for Rossi yet, with himself winning from the back of the grid in Moto2.
“It’s true that in Moto2 I start last here in Valencia and I won the race, it’s true also that in Qatar I was last in the first corner and I arrived fifth, so in the end MotoGP is more difficult but I don’t want to think about this because it is not my situation.”
Photo via Repsol Honda