INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG. 7 – The MotoGP paddock returned from summer break today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and as the formalities got underway at today’s pre-Indy MotoGP press conference, the topic was still Marc Marquez and his domination of the 2014 season.
The reigning champ remains undefeated in 2014 with nine wins coming into Indy. And for the most part those nine wins came under varying and often times difficult circumstances, leaving most to believe that no matter what you throw at this kid, he's still going to win.
For the other riders it has to be getting a bit old, but what about the fans? Typically having a rider so dominant turns the sport into a snooze-fest. So the panel of riders – Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovisioso, Aleix Espargaro, Cal Crutchlow and, of course, Marquez – were asked if they thought it was positive for the sport.
The reigning World Champion and man in question spoke up first.
“Positive,” Marquez said simply.
One of those guys trying to crack Marquez, Yamaha’s Rossi chimed in next.
“Yeah for Marc [Marquez] positive, but for us a little bit less,” Rossi said. “We have to try to beat him before the end of the championship for sure. Yeah, is a big domination. He do great work, but in some way we have to try to beat him for us and also for the championship.”
As for Dovisioso, having a rider raise the level has a positive affect on the championship.
“I look at Marc very far, but it’s nice to see a rider change the limits,” Dovisioso said. “So there is always a way to improve. It means everybody is having to work more to try to change our limits.”
The guy who came down to the wire in the championship last year with Marquez was Lorenzo. And while Lorenzo has not been there week in and week out to challenge Marquez this season, the pair have had some great battles. It hasn’t been for a lack of trying on Lorenzo’s part.
“I’ve had the opportunity to race with Casey [Stoner], with Dani [Pedrosa] with Valentino [Rossi],” Lorenzo said. “I think Marc at this moment with his bike has been even harder to beat. So for me it is a very special and motivated challenge and I try my best to ride.”
Hayden agreed with Rossi, feeling that as a rider you don’t want to see someone dominate the sport.
“It’s great what he’s doing, but for us we don’t want to see one guy win every race,” Hayden said. “Because truthfully he’s making it look too easy from the outside and it’s not really the case. I hope somebody can beat him soon and make us look better.”
But Hayden added that it’s still a good show for the fans.
“I don’t think he’s boring at all,” said Hayden. “If you watched him ride, I think he’s really exciting. And at this point I think people are tuning in just to see if anybody’s going to beat him. It’s a story for sure and going to make people check results, but from a rider’s point of view, I don’t want to see it happen if I’m being honest.”
The older Espargaro agreed with Hayden; Marquez is putting on a great show, but someone needs to dethrone the young champion.
“Like Nicky [Hayden] said, everybody want to beat him [Marquez],” Espargaro said. “For sure it’s not boring for the people because he won in dry, wet, starting from the pits, starting from the back, all the ways. So not boring for the people, but yeah it looks that the other riders, we are really slow. So somebody need to stop this.”
And what about Marquez? He’s been putting on a masterclass so far this season and, as Hayden pointed out, Marquez is making it look too easy. The other riders are under the pressure to beat Marquez, but what about Marquez? Was keeping the win streak alive adding any additional pressure?
“You don’t feel the additional pressure, but you feel a little bit that maybe the day that I will not win will be a disaster,” Marquez explained. “And it’s not like that. I always say maybe it will be here, maybe will be another race. But of course some day, some Sunday will arrive maybe Jorge, Valentino, Dani [Pedrosa] or someone else and they will beat me. I have a big respect to them. They are really good riders and we cannot forget that. Of course the first part of the season was perfect for me, but the most important is to win the championship not to win a lot of races.”