After both posting blistering lap times at the Phillip island test circuit, the Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales are setting the stage for the 2017 MotoGP season.
As the rounds of testing come to a close at Phillip Island in Australia, Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez are topping the time sheets. The defending world champion and fresh-blooded Yamaha recruit are a hair’s breadth apart in speed, and if the testing results are anything to go off, we’re looking at what is potentially that headlining rivalry heading into the 2017 season.
Vinales, however, did have some already-barbed words for Marquez, who apparently set out to follow him out on the track during his long push:
“The next day I do a long run it will be my turn to bother him. I really didn’t understand it, because you are doing your job, your long run, and then being unable to push… I’m not going to carry him. It’s hard to keep on pushing when you have him behind and you know he can study what you do. So I had to abort the long run, which was a shame because I was doing mid-1m29s all the time.” – Maverick Vinales
Though unorthodox, Marquez’s tactic at Australia shows that he’s a rider who will do whatever it takes to defend his title. While Vinales fans will most likely scream bloody murder over the tactic, Marquez sees it less of an intrusion on Vinales, and more of a chance to observe his opponent in the field:
“Today was one run that I went out and saw that he passed and then was some laps. Immediately I was able to recover this gap and then I followed him two laps and it was interesting, always, to see different bikes. Yamaha, like last year, they have a really competitive bike, all package is really good. It will be tough to beat them.” – Marc Marquez
If things keep heading in this direction, we’re going to have a rivalry to rival that of Lorenzo vs. Rossi.