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Marquez at the centre of praise or controversy: the strange thing about MotoGP 2024

Until yesterday all you needed was two great personalities to make a clash, today Marc alone is enough to divide the fans, and now that we are in Austin, the 'home' of the Martian, we are all with bated breath not knowing what to expect. And the time difference doesn't help  

MotoGP: Marquez at the centre of praise or controversy: the strange thing about MotoGP 2024

The time difference in Austin does not help and so the wait to know Marc Marquez's performance in 'his' Austin is even more intense because let's face it: we are all curious.

Yeah, because the attention of this first part of the championship has been polarized by Marc: it doesn't matter whether you a fan or a detractor. You want to see him either winning or being defeated. On the contrary, this dichotomy makes everyone care about him, and for the MotoGP we have experienced, until now, on clashes between great personalities, it is strange that now instead it's just one rider who is hogging the limelight.

We have experienced, up until now, a large number of great rivalries. Never mind the past, Agostini v. Read or, later, Roberts v. Sheene, Lawson v. Spencer, Lucchinelli and Uncini, Rainey and Schwantz. Right up to the real antagonism between Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi, and then Valentino Rossi v. Casey Stoner first and Jorge Lorenzo later.

So basically, you needed to have two great personalities to make a clash, to divide the fans, and that is normal because fans like to identify and as long as the hatred - it's an ugly word but it defines the situation - is only on a sporting level that's fine. It works that way in every activity.

Do you like the champion to whom everything goes well, who is outgoing and likeable? You root for Valentino. You prefer the troubled, introverted and (not always) the 'loser', there's Max for you.

But now? You might say that, after being orphaned by Biaggi and mindful of the fateful 2015, Marquez's detractors have ganged up on him, but they haven't. And today the fact that the deuteragonist is missing is plain for all to see.

Look at Portimao: there was more talk about the collision between Bagnaia and Marquez than Martin's victory. Only Pedro Acosta managed to be exempt, because he represents the new coming, the possible antagonist, but the GasGas rider still does not present himself as such, and since his opponents have nothing but praise, one cannot be for him and against the others. He is a very smart guy.

So all that remains to do is be either for or against Marc Marquez. Siding against nothing, or a ghost of the past, as long as you occupy one of the two sides. You play a game in which there are no opponents, because if you rejoice for Marc, you do so regardless, either for his glory-honored past or his past ordeal from 2020 onward. If, on the contrary you are against him, it does not matter who wins, as long as Marc does not do well. Unbelievable, isn't it?

Marquez is, currently, like a black hole that attracts all the light and anyone who enters his orbit is gobbled up by it. So the absurd thing is that whoever beats him, today, does not gain lustre but, on the contrary, loses it if he only gets close to him.

Such an absurd situation will not last long, or at least we hope so, but this shows how much MotoGP needs not only fast riders - which for goodness sake exist - but characters, and by this word we do not mean clowns, but simply men with personality. With something to say that is not so blatantly obvious. Yesterday Pedro Acosta declared something similar by quoting Schwantz and Stoner. It's a good thing a young, talented and, for the moment, victorious winner did it. Because if your scribe had said it, it would have been easy to say that he was nostalgic for the past.



Translated by Julian Thomas

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