When Spencer met Marquez

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For 31 long years, American legend Freddie Spencer held the distinction of being the youngest rider in history ever to win in the MotoGP class.

That was until the mercurial Marc Marquez arrived in MotoGP in 2013 and broke Spencer’s record with a historic win in the inaugural Circuit of the Americas clash in Texas back in April.

Spencer, who was 20 years 196 days old when he won at Spa in 1982, finally met Marquez last weekend during a special Alpinestars event in Bordeaux.

It was during the Texas weekend earlier this season that Marquez also took Spencer’s record for being the youngest rider in history to claim a premier class pole position and the triple world champion said: “He is a great young rider and he has got a lot of ability and more than that I respect the way he goes about it.

It is interesting because when you set a record like I did all those years ago for me I remember like it was yesterday. And I hope that maybe Marc can hold the record for as long as I did. It was a long time and it was a privilege for me to do that. I had no idea when I set that record how long it would last but everything happens for a reason and for Marc to come a long now and perform as he has is great to see and I am very happy. It is great for the sport and I have a couple more records left.”

Spencer also said he has been impressed with Marquez’s elbow dragging riding style on the Repsol Honda RC213V 1000cc machine and he added: “That is pretty impressive. My Alpinestars suit has the elbow protection but I figured the only time I would use that would be as I am going down! It is cool and I like watching it.”

One record Spencer still holds and is likely to do so for decades to come is his amazing 250/500cc championship double in 1985.

Marquez, who has already won 125GP and Moto2 world titles, said that was an incredible accomplishment that he couldn’t imagine replicating.

The Spaniard, who is currently third in the MotoGP standings behind Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, said: “With Freddie I saw many videos but what the people explain to me he was one guy that is more or less like me, always pushing and never thinking he’d done enough.

When you think too that he competed in two categories together, in this era I can’t imagine that. For me that is the most impressive. It is unbelievable and I can’t imagine racing in Moto2 and then in MotoGP. That means you are so strong and also about the physical condition because in some tracks like in Malaysia when I finish one race I am completely exhausted and I can’t do another race and they did and this is very impressive.”

Marquez also said one day in the future he would love to ride one of the old and wild 500cc two-strokes that had none of the grip or sophisticated electronic rider aids now fitted on modern day MotoGP machinery.

Marquez added: “Maybe if I try some bike like Freddie’s bike, I don’t know if it will be in the first or second run but sure a high-side will come! With that bike without electronics it would be very difficult and with that bike you saw so many crashes. Now with different with tyres, the suspension and the electronics it is a completely different world.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt