In an in-depth interview with the organizers of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix this week new MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez reviewed his sensational 2013 season.
The Repsol Honda rider of course won the 2013 MotoGP title by finishing third on Sunday at Valencia, becoming the youngest premier class World Champion in history.
Despite a busy test schedule this week the first rookie to win the premier class title since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978 still found time for a lengthy Q&A with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway PR team.
Q. Was winning the world championship your ultimate goal for this season? Is this what you planned or was this a surprise?
A. My goal was to try to win not only in Qatar, but also always I have the mentality to try to fight for some podiums, for some victories. But I didn’t expect to be constant there in the top and fight for the championship and get it in the end. But from the beginning, I set records with the bike, and that was the most important.
Q. Do you feel like getting access to the factory Honda squad as a rookie was the difference that allowed you to be World Champion out of the box? Could you have done it with LCR Honda or Gresini Honda?
A. This is difficult to say because you don’t know. I didn’t test their bike, and I don’t know what is the level. It’s true that their new improvements arrive a little bit later, but of course to be here on the Honda factory team helped me quite a lot.
Q. We all know that RC213V is a great bike. Is there anything that you can think of that would make it better? Is there anything that you still want besides more power, which is obvious?
A. We can improve many, many things, especially mid-corner then also edge grip in the mid-corner, too, we can improve. Exiting the corner also is traction we can improve, the stability too a little bit. But, yeah, the package was quite good, and I feel good on the bike.
Q. Yeah, when did you realize you could actually obtain the title?
A. Maybe I start to realize a little bit after Brno when I had to realize. Also then Silverstone, even I had the injury, but I started to realize in that race because Dani (Pedrosa) was a hundred percent, and I was able to fight with them and to win that race.
Q. Who do you see as your biggest threat in 2014, and also what riders do you see coming up through the ranks like your brother Alex in Moto3? Who do you think will have a big opportunity in the future?
A. Yeah, 2014 will be changed a little bit because they’re going to change the rules and that will be important to adapt the bike to those rules. But, anyway, I think Jorge (Lorenzo) will be strong. Dani (Pedrosa) will be strong. We will see also Espargaro, I think he can do a good job. We’ll see if he can stay there every race. But, yeah, it’s coming there. The young talents and from Moto3 especially, and yeah, I think my brother next year. Maybe he will have the first chance to fight for a championship. But, of course, he needs more experience, but anyway, he’s doing a very good job.
Q. You know, your trademark this year was being very aggressive and always pushing to the limit, even in practices you had crashes. Finally, maybe in the last race you were a little more cautious than previous. But do you think you will race that way next year?
A. I will have more experience in the category, and I will try to have less pressures, too. But if I want to find the limit, I need to find it in practice because then in the race you don’t want to try to know where is the limit. I will try to improve. In the past, I’ve tried to be a little bit not as smoother because in the end, it’s my style. But a little more constant on the lines and with the experience of this year trying to use it and trying to have less pressure.
Q. I don’t think your competitors expected you to be quite as competitive and as fast as you were in 2013. For next season, have you lost the element of surprise?
A. Yeah, sure. I think nobody, nobody expect that, and I didn’t expect that to be competitive from the beginning. But anyway, everybody was looking – will be looking at you and looking at me, sorry. The pressure will be higher. So it will be more difficult. But for sure Jorge and Dani, they will be watching me, but like I watch them.
Q. You’re 20 years old. You’re the world champion. How do you expect your life to change and how are you trying to stay grounded?
A. That, of course is difficult, but you know, I try to be the same guy, the same Marc. I have all my people, my family, my team. I already said to them, if I change a little bit, if I start changing a little bit they can sit me or say, ‘Hey, Marc, you are not in the correct way.’ And that is good that the people around you also have that confidence to say to you that you need to keep your feet on the ground.