A new season is about to begin, and Marc Marquez remains the man to beat. Inevitable really, as although #93 had a strange pre-season due to shoulder surgery, he's now ready to defend his crown once more.
“Little by little, we'll understand the playing field – he explains – and after five or six races we'll probably have an idea as to the title contenders, in any case, consistency will be key. We need to run up front right from the start, despite this not being a particularly favourable track for us. Testing was positive here though".
Marc underlines how the first race is a little different, though extremely important of course.
“During the pre-season the level is always high. We carry out testing in Qatar and then over the real race weekend it's all more difficult and performances will level out, while in Austin and Argentina it's very different. We'll see how it goes, what is certain is that the first race is as important as the last".
Marc has a multitude of rivals at this season-opener, and he is more than willing to name names...
“I see the favourites as being the two Yamahas, the two Ducatis, with Petrucci a possible surprise considering his speed in testing and Rins, who also did well in testing, without forgetting my team-mate”.
Marc is not worried about the (now confirmed) time scheduling change for this opening race.
“Last year we raced at 7pm and things went well, there were few crashes. Whatever the decision, we're ready to race."
He closed by touching on Freddie Spencer's appointment as chief steward.
“I think his arrival is important because he was a rider, so he knows what that last-lap adrenaline is like, I hope for everyone's sake that he has as little to do as possible. He will have to make decisions, some we'll like, others not so much, but that's part of the game and the rules”.