Marc and Alex Marquez surely never expected that their first race together, as teammates, would have been run from the sofa at home. Instead, with the sport stopped for the coronavirus epidemic, the only way to race is to do it with a video game.
Sunday will see the first-ever virtual MotoGP Grand Prix, but the challenge will be held between real riders. The two Marquez brothers are used to fighting with their joypad in hand, but this time things will be more difficult. The important thing, however, will be to give the fans some fun.
“All of us are living in a difficult moment so it will be really nice to have some fun and bring some action to the fans,” declared Marc. “We are doing this for all of the people who love MotoGP, to give them something nice during these incredibly hard days, thanks to the other riders and the championship for putting this together.”
Even though his Honda will be made up of pixels, Marquez won’t be approaching the race lightly. He always remains a racer, and when the red lights go out at the start, there is only one thought he has in his mind.
“I have been remaining at home, still training as much as I can while staying safe. Alex and I enjoy playing the MotoGP game together but now we must be a little more serious about it. No matter what we are racing, as riders we want to win! With the race only being six laps, I think we can go full aggression and push the whole way. I’m looking forward to doing some racing!”
If it were a normal race, Alex would be a rookie, but as it is a video game the rule no longer applies. Indeed, the younger Marquez has everything he needs to beat his brother.
“We have a responsibility to encourage people to stay inside and follow the guidelines, if they can’t come to the races then we can bring the races to them. I have been following the advice and staying inside, adjusting my training and how I live so that we can all get through this," said Alex.
Now he needs to focus on the race.
“I thought my ‘racing debut’ would be a little different but I am looking forward to it either way," he joked. "Normally I am quite competitive in the MotoGP game when I play with friends, so I am not sure I am a true rookie, but it is very hard to know the level of the other riders. Let’s see how it goes, Mugello is a fun circuit to ride as it’s very fast and especially into Turn 1 you can make some big moves. I hope that the fans can enjoy this event with us!”
We would like to remind you that the first virtual MotoGP GP will start at 3pm, Sunday 29 March; you can follow it live on social networks and on SKY TV Italia with commentary by Guido Meda and Mauro Sanchini.