Yesterday, anyone that watched MotoGP saw Marc Marquez take his 11th consecutive win at the Sachsenring in Germany. It came 581 days after his last MotoGP win, 336 days after his career-threatening arm injury. But he did it. And the Repsol Honda rider has now stood on the podium 96 times in MotoGP, after winning on no less than 57 of those occasions. It’s an impressive record, I’m sure you’ll all agree. But does this one win mean the MM93 of old is back to stay, and he’ll go back to winning races left, right and centre, like he was doing a couple or three years ago. Or was his Sachsenring success simply a flash in the pan?
I’ve read a few things about how the ‘SachsenKing’ is back, and seen plenty of people suggesting that now Marc Marquez has regained his strength and confidence on a MotoGP bike, we can look forward to him romping off in the lead again, winning race after race. Maybe that’s what’s going to happen; there’s no denying the lad has got an insane amount of skillz on a bike. The argument that, now he’s got his first win under his belt (after the accident) he’ll carry on doing it, isn’t a ludicrous one. And it’s a fair assumption that, under there somewhere, is still a Marc Marquez that’s head and shoulders faster than anyone else… because a few years ago he was.
I’m convinced Marquez will win some more races this year. And next year, and the year after that. But will he be the force that he once was? If I’m being honest, I don’t think he will. I think the rest of the field have upped their game in Marc’s absence. So whilst I think he will always be one of the fastest, I don’t think he’ll always be the fastest in the same way that he has been in the past.
And without wishing to take anything away from his performance yesterday, the Sachsenring is a circuit he’s strong at. If he could win anywhere this year, it was always going to be there. Let’s see how he gets on at the next round at Assen, a circuit he’s only won at twice. I’d be more impressed if he won there. And more likely to sit up and take notice. That doesn’t mean his win at Sachsenring wasn’t impressive. It was. Especially after what he has been through.
Although, I will say, on a slightly off-topic note, hearing (and reading) people constantly bang on about the ‘dark times’ Marquez has been through in the past 18 months is a little bit annoying. The trials and tribulations of a multi-millionaire. He had an injury – that’s part of bike racing. In fact that’s just part of being a professional sports person, full stop. He didn’t even loose his job. I’m sure he wasn’t crying himself to sleep every night. Anyway, I’ll leave that there because I realise I’m starting to sound like a bit of a knob; especially if you’re a Marc Marquez fan.
Although it might not sound like it, I am, in fact, a Marc Marquez fan, myself. He forced everyone else to up their game and brought a whole new riding style to MotoGP. A riding style that you’ll need to master if you want to win at that level. But unfortunately for him, whilst he was having a year out, the rest of the grid mastered Marquez’s technique, and now they’re using it against him.
I was delighted when I saw Marquez win in Germany yesterday. He rode a perfect race and deserved the win. But I don’t think it’s going to keep happening. And if I’m being honest, I don’t want it to. For the last year and a half, MotoGP has been as entertaining as it’s ever been. More entertaining, in fact. Because at the start of every round, there are ten or fifteen riders that are capable of winning. And who ever does go on to win, rarely runs away with it.
I’d love to see Marquez win some more races. In fact I’d like to see him win another World Championship. But I don’t want to see him winning every race by a country mile. Because if I wanted to watch boring, predictable bike races, I’d put World Superbikes on.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time). Perhaps now that Marc’s got his eye in, he’ll be even more dominant then before. But I’m not so sure. What do you think?