Marc Márquez reveals adaptation is the key to survival in unfamiliar climes.
Though Márquez begins the second half of the MotoGP season with a 48-point lead, will that count for much when he’s never even touched the Red Bull Ring? He didn’t manage to attend a private practice test on the circuit, which is returning to the MotoGP calendar for the first time since 1997. The test will be dominated by Ducati riders, with Repsol Honda and Tech 3 Yamaha the only ones not making an appearance. His only knowledge of the track comes from a PR appearance on the RC213V-S road bike and data gathered by the satellite LCR and Marc VDS teams. His coping strategy?
“When you approach a weekend at a new circuit, it’s different and you have to be able to adapt as quickly as possible. I’m also proud to race there because my fan club will join us with many Austrian fans. I’m sure we’ll have a great weekend and hopefully sunny weather.”
Not easy to feel out a track with a recording device, we’ll have to say. But he does have one trump card. From the looks of it, the Red Bull Ring isn’t all that different from the Austin track, where he currently reigns undefeated on all four of MotoGP’s races there.
“It’s a circuit that’s quite enjoyable; some things about it remind me of Austin in that you have to brake very hard and stop the bike and turn quickly, but then there’s the last part that’s faster. I think it’s a good track for the World Championship and I can’t wait to ride there with a MotoGP bike.”
You could say each new circuit is a form of natural selection for MotoGP riders. Either develop the skills to adapt to your new habitat or die out with the rest at the bottom of the food chain. It’s a good thing he’s got the muscle memory he’s developed at Austin on his side. You might even call it instinct.