Marc Marquez celebrates his Moto2 title win at Phillip Island. Marquez moves to the premier class in 2013.
Battles with Pol Espargaró, the epic comeback in Japan, the fight to recovery from injury in the winter and the pressure of being a favourite have all been key to crowning the 2012 Moto2 Champion. “Sometimes I have to channel my inner anger to win a race,” says Márquez.
Moto2 World Champion. For two years the title seemed to be calling, but it has not been easy. Do you feel liberated now?
“Yes, getting this title has been very important. I owe it to my sponsors, my family and also to Emilio Alzamora. They have put so much effort into my success. And above all, I thank them for their support during my recovery in the winter. It was very hard for me to overcome the disappointment that led to the injury. Every morning I woke up distressed waiting to finally stop seeing double. Besides that, withstanding the pressure and always being labeled as a favourite is hard. When you’re not on top you begin to be asked what is happening and doubts arise. It was very important to win after enduring pressure all year.”
Estoril 2010, Australia 2011, Japan 2012 … Do you like making a comeback every year to give more excitement to the Championship…?
“More than comebacks, those are races where I made a mistake before … But because the races ended up going well, everybody remembers them. This year the most notable comeback was undoubtedly that in Japan. When you win a race like that, it is a great personal reward.”
Which was your favourite?
“Japan, without a doubt. After the startline error I was able to remain calm and that was very important to me. Recovering from the first corner was difficult, but that gave meaning to the victory.”
What was the most important moment of the season?
“There were many important moments, but most were in the races after the summer break, when I diced for the title with Pol [Espargaró]. Indianapolis, Brno, Aragon and Japan were decisive races in which I battled him head to head and I could not let him take points off me. I give a lot of value to a championship won on the closing laps. We have had many battles and perhaps not one in particular has been decisive, but when you win five on the final lap, each set of five points makes the difference needed to take the championship.”
Marquez in action at Phillip Island, where his third-place finish was enough to clinch the 2012 Moto2 title.
Was there any race this year in which you said: “I will this at all cost”?
“There have been a few. The last lap is always, always the limit. Estoril, Japanese GP, Misano… There have been many times when I had to channel my inner rage to win a race.”
Any podium that felt like a victory?
“The one here at Phillip Island. We finished third, but getting the title thanks to this result it was my favourite third place ever.”
What have 125cc and Moto2 taught you?
“125cc taught me to be quick on the bike. Moto2, however, is the category of consistency. In Moto2 I have learnt to think on the bike: sometimes you cannot win and must pick up as many points as possible.”
Now we can start talking about MotoGP. What will you miss about Moto2?
“MotoGP is a very different class. In Moto2 the key is scraping fairings, whilst in MotoGP many times it comes down to pulling clear by yourself and the strategies of each rider. At the moment, however, we still have Valencia to go, so we will enjoy ourselves there and then start to think about the future.”
Doohan, Crivillé, Rossi, Stoner, Pedrosa have ridden for the Repsol Honda Team, and now you join the ranks. What does it mean to you?
“It’s a dream come true. My dream was always to ride in MotoGP and make a space for myself amongst the best riders in history. Going up to MotoGP with the best team in my first year is a privilege. I thank everyone for giving me the opportunity. I am definitely not going to waste it.”