Reigning MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has admitted that his Repsol Honda MotoGP bosses are well aware of the risks of his off-season training, including the dangers of taking part in his season-ending invitational flat track race in Barcelona held on Saturday night.
Marquez was lucky to walk away from a huge pile-up in the final stages of the night, collecting the barriers along with brother Alex as he cartwheeled off his Honda CRF450 machine, and was lucky to walk away unscathed to continue on to the overall win later in the night.
But, with a successful MotoGP season behind him, he says that Honda are aware of the risks but concede that he needs some time to enjoy himself on a bike after the pressures of a hard season.
“They know that with me there is always some risk; they have to understand that! This year in MotoGP I changed my mentality a little bit, but at Superprestigio I am free! They’re not here, they can’t speak up to me!”
Marquez’s crash was one of a handful of high speed crashes on the night, partly a consequence of a number of things according to AMA champion and main rival Brad Baker.
“It was a mixture of a lot of factors, including every rider wanting to get the holeshot and just running into the first turn too hard and being a little too excited. When you get a couple of laps done, you calm down, but on a track like this with low grip you have to go slower to go fast. As soon as you go fast you make mistakes.
“Everyone is trying to get off the line and into the first corner to have a shut-off contest, and that means one guy is slowing down and another still on the gas and they collide. With so little grip slowing down was hard, so once you got into a slide you were a goner!”