The bullfighter Juan Belmonte said that the day he fought, his beard grew. It was the fear, he said. Unlike the master bullfighter, the young Moto GP rider Marc Márquez (born in Cervera, Lleida, in 1993) sports a permanent smile, even during the most difficult competitions. Márquez has loved the thrill of the sport ever since he began competing as a young boy, when he had to have ballast added to his motorbike because it didn’t reach the minimum weight. He immediately began to eclipse his competitors on bend after bend, and today the Honda Repsol rider skids and hangs from his bike with ease, reaching pole position with a style that thrills the grandstands and turns races into epic events. A self-confessed fan of Valentino Rossi, Márquez has now graced the track and the podium with the legendary Italian racer, with whom he shares a relationship of mutual admiration and competition. ÏU MAG talks to the champion as he makes the most of the Moto GP summer break.
What has been the greatest engineering surprise of this year?
There must have been many, because this year all the bikes have been very level.
What is your dream vision of the perfect motorbike?
There is no perfect motorbike. The full package must be made up by the motorbike, the team and the rider. If these three components work, then you get the perfect package.
Apart from your competition motorbike, which other motorbikes do you like to take out for a run?
I don’t have a motorbike license, so I can’t do that yet! But any CBR would be a good option.
Do you remember how you felt when when you first rode a motorbike? Do you still have the same sensation?
I only remember that I had to ride on a motorbike and I wouldn’t stop until my parents bought me one.
What has the return of Dani Pedrosa meant for you?
Good news, given that it is always good to have a teammate and especially if he’s as competitive as Dani.
After winning four titles at just 21 years old, your style is to enter corners by moving with total control of your machine, hanging aggressively to obtain the victory. Have Assen and Sachsenring made you rethink your racing style?
In the last two races we have been able to improve a lot and we have reduced the problems that we have been encountering all year. Now we skid a little bit less. Your idol since childhood has always been Valentino Rossi. How has that relationship evolved both on and off the track? The relationship is good, as ever. On the track he’s another rival and off it we have a very good relationship. I admire his capacity to still be competitive at his age and his will to improve and surpass himself.
How did it feel to take that selfie with Valentino in Germany?
Heavenly! Returning to the highest position of the podium after such a long time feels amazing – and especially if you do it next to your own teammate and Valentino.
What have you gained with age – apart from all those titles?
I think experience. After three years you learn lots of details about your team. What is the aspect of your character that you are always trying to control? I don’t know [laughs]. I always try to be the same.
Has there been any incident, either your own or somebody else’s, that has made you reconsider your career?
No, I have always wanted to be what I am and when things don’t go well you have to continue being the same, or you have to be even more focused than ever. You don’t have to give up your goals.
What is your biggest fear?
The sea is one of the few things I have a lot of respect for.
What does Ibiza mean to you, and why did you choose to come here?
This is the first time I have come here and I love it. It is a beautiful place, where you can rest and have fun at the same time.
On the dance floor who is more dangerous: Valentino or Ángel Nieto?
I don’t know [laughs]. But I bet it’s difficult to choose one.
Have you been to Ushuaïa and Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza?
Yes, I have been to Ushuaïa. It’s amazing. I didn’t expect it to be like this. We had an incredible time.
Who are your favourite DJs and musicians?
I don’t like anyone in particular. I love music in general. But if I had to choose a genre it would be pop rock.
What are your favourite places when you come here?
The beaches; Cala Saona is beautiful. And Ushuaïa!
Where do you prefer to stay when you visit Ibiza: in villas or hotels?
This time I stayed in a house that I rented with some friends and it has been a great experience.
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