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MotoGP VR46 launch

VR46’s Marini “at peace” with his MotoGP weight “handicap”

VR46 MotoGP rider Luca Marini says he is “at peace” with the fact that his height and weight will always be a “handicap”.

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team

Weighing in at 69kg, Marini is the grid’s heaviest rider and has been leading the calls for MotoGP to introduce a minimum combined rider/bike weight limit like the one used in Moto2 and Moto3.

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Marini feels his six-foot frame and the natural weight that comes with this puts him at a disadvantage compared to the smaller riders on the grid, particularly when it comes to tyre management.

With the introduction of 21 sprint races to the 21-round MotoGP calendar in 2023, much talk in the pre-season has been about how riders have changed their training to meet the physical demands this schedule will cause.

Marini feels he is already on the limit of what muscle mass he can have against the disadvantage of his weight, and had hoped Dorna Sports would implement a minimum combined rider/bike weight limit in World Superbikes for 2023 to trial before bringing it across to MotoGP.

The commercial rights holder for both series has chosen not to do so, and Marini says he will just have to accept his “handicap”. He feels smaller riders will be able to take advantage of the new weekend format to bulk up by a few kilos compared to him.

“Well, I’m not worried sincerely but for me it will be important, because if I train more and put on more muscle I have more difficulties on the lap time because it’s just a matter of physics,” Marini said when asked by Autosport if he was concerned that the added physical strain of having to compete in two races per weekend would force him to add more muscle and make his weight even more of a disadvantage.

Luca Marini, Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team with Valentino Rossi

Luca Marini, Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team with Valentino Rossi

Photo by: Media VR46

“If I put on two or three kilos more, then the bike will be slower or it will just put more energy on the rear tyre for acceleration, and this is not good because our tyres are so sensitive, and we need to ride very smooth for the best way.

“And also the acceleration, the speed is very important for overtakes. I think the smaller riders this year can train more for more muscle and put on two or three kilos more, which will help to have more energy for these two races where, for sure, the effort will be unbelievable.

“But I just try to do my best and hope this rule can change for the future. But I saw in World Superbikes this won’t change.

“I expected that Dorna would try something in Superbikes to then bring to us some new rules, but they took another position.

“So, on my side I just need to focus on what I can do with my talent and speed, trying to work differently to the others, because this handicap will be with me for my entire career. And I’m at peace with this.”

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Marini added that “it’s difficult to prepare something different now” in terms of physical training because “we don’t know exactly what we’re going to have with this sprint race”.

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