How Marc Marquez shook off his risky mentality in MotoGP

Marc Marquez could take the MotoGP crown once again this weekend in Japan at Honda's home, where two years ago he earned the title that proved the wisdom of those who'd advised a calmer approach

How Marc Marquez shook off his risky mentality in MotoGP
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If riders had their say, none of them would choose to earn their championship win at Motegi, as it's a frenetic circuit for the spectator and inhospitable for those racing, too.

For that reason, in 2016 Marquez thought he would wait a week until Australia to celebrate his third MotoGP title (though in fact he ended up on the floor at Phillip Island.)

No one thought Marquez could be champion at Motegi; neither the media that covered that grand prix nor the members of his team. To be able to clinch that title, not only did Marc have to win the race, but Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi both had to fail to score, something that hadn't happened once during the seven years that Lorenzo and Rossi shared a box. And, to the shock of everyone involved, it happened.

It was an unbelievable end to a championship that Marquez later revealed had been a difficult one. After the end of that year, he admitted having lived through the worst season of his life in terms of stress.

"I even lost hair and I went to the doctor because I was afraid of going bald. He told me that was a consequence of the stress I was under." explained Marquez, who, for a while, even lost his recognisable smile.

"I can't express the pressure I felt. Up until that point, I had no idea what that was like.

"The team had to remind me to laugh and smile, as I wasn't the same old Marc. I forgot to enjoy everything."

All of this came after a 2015 season when he couldn't fight for the title due to a risky mentality that caused him many crashes. Add in a new tyre supplier, the new and unified software all the teams had to start using and, on top of that, Honda changed some things on the engine side that didn't give the expected performance.

"It was the most difficult season of my life," he says. "I saw myself ahead of a big mountain and I had to find the way to climb it.

"I remember telling Honda engineers: 'I believe in you and I'm going to change my mentality, but I will need your help in the second half of the season'."

Two years later, Marquez seems to be a different rider, as if he had been through a metamorphosis that has made him almost infallible. A rider that attacks when is conscious of his winning possibilities and a rider that sets the podium as the goal when things don't go that way.

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Alex Marquez , Marc Marquez
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
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