Marquez assesses rookie Moto2 campaign
Alex Marquez has had a difficult time adapting to the Moto2 class with two top ten finishes interspersed with difficult races where he has fallen to the back of the pack and had to fight through to points paying positions.
The reigning Moto3 world champion is at the halfway point of his rookie season and offered his thoughts on the season so far.
"At first it was difficult, but overall it’s positive," said Marquez. "Moto2 is a new category for me and, after becoming Moto3 World Champion with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0, we have started a new journey and we are working very hard to try to take the positives from difficult situations. Especially important is having patience.
"Moto2 is a tough category in which being a second off the pace means you qualify twentieth on the grid for the race. This difference in Moto3 was not so worrying, because in the end you can save yourself by slipstreaming, but in Moto2 you either have to work well in practice or you have it very difficult to gain positions. In this category it is all very tight and it's the little details that make you cut the thousandths of a second you need in order to fight in the leading group."
The adjustments needed in Moto2 are quite varied. Riders need to learn how to use their weight and change their riding style considerably. However some elements that he had expected to be a challenge, tyre management and riding with high fuel loads, have been easier than he expected.
"I was warned that tyre management would be difficult, but after coming up I encountered rock hard tyres that hold up for the whole race – and even allow you to put in your fastest laps late on. I had also been warned of the problems that occur on the first few laps with a full tank of fuel, and it turns out that sometimes it actually helps you. In short, things that seem like they will be problematic initially, in my case are things that I have adapted to more easily.
"In contrast, other things which weren’t given as much importance I’ve found harder. The hardest thing was adjusting to the weight difference, rather than the difference in power, because having more weight means you have to anticipate every move you need to make. For example, changes of direction with the Moto3 bike could be made 20 metres later, whereas with the Moto2 bike you wouldn’t make the turn like that. I remember at Assen, a circuit with very quick changes of direction on the quick, flowing corners, that it was a lot of work."