MotoGP Honda Repsol Honda Marc Marquez’s second lap pit gave off the impression of a severe mistake, but in the end his tire gamble paid off.
The race was decided from lap two. While the fans of MotoGP are more typically used to races that feature several intense battles for the coveted pole position. In this case of the Brno Grand Prix, however, the pole went to Marc Marquez in under the five laps and never left him.
In what will certainly go down as one of the greatest masterstrokes of strategy at Brno, Marquez and Co. turned what could have been a potentially disastrous race into one that saw them steal the show in front of the rest of the pack. Due to the inclement yet temperamental weather, the grid went out to do battle atop the medium-compound tires – a choice that many riders found to be the wrong choice.
However, Marquez was the first to realize that the medium compound was an ill-fit, and the Spaniard pitted on the second lap, swapping over to the set of slicks atop his second bike. The split-decision proved to be the correct one, and Marquez quickly regained all the positions that he had lost following the start of the race. Once back in the lead, Marc comfortably settled into his rhythm and was never heard or seen again from the pack for the remainder of the race.
Although the move seemed like a masterstroke from the outside – as it was unquestionably the difference in strategy that saw Marquez attain victory – it was not as pre-meditated as some might claim, according to the Spaniard himself:
“I was struggling a lot with the front tire because I chose the soft option, I was struggling and I go in early. From the top guys, I was the only one. I don’t know why – I was on the grid, I said soft, I wanted to take the risk. But then when I go out, I realized it was a mistake. And this created [the situation] to go in on the box very, very early.” – Marc Marquez
Despite the slight downplaying by Marquez, his team boss Livio Suppo thinks the key lies in his ability to wield the conditions in his favor:
“In these conditions, Marc is unbelievable. We know in these conditions that he’s very strong, so he usually makes the correct choice. We know in these conditions that he’s very strong, so he usually makes the correct choice.” – Livio Suppo
While it’s a given that that current defending MotoGP World Champion is a competent rider, Marquez’s performance at Brno is undoubtedly at testament to how this young rider has managed to blow through the ranks of the MotoGP elite and secure his name as one that will live on for years to come.