I’ve seen some whopping crashes in my time, but MM93’s monster 100mph highside in yesterday’s MotoGP warmup session might have been the biggest crash I have ever seen.
And it came after a bit of a run of crashes. I’m not talking about his run of crashes spanning the last few years, when MM93 has crashed just about everything he’s swung his leg over. I’m just talking about this weekend in Indonesia. A crash in free practice secured his place in Q1, when he crashed another two times. So the get-off in warmup was crash number four.
If you watched any of the MotoGP practice or qualifying at the weekend, you won’t have seen Marquez putting his usual 110%. He was giving it 150%, minimum. As much as it was a sight to behold, and you’ve got to give the bloke some respect for putting it all on the line like that, it really isn’t a sustainable way to race a motorbike.
If you have four big, fast crashes (and they were fast) over one weekend, chances are at least one of them is going to be big enough to hurt. Or at least big enough to put you out of the running. He was lucky to get away with it for as long as he did.
His big highside didn’t come without warning. As well as the two fast front end crashes he’d had the day before, he had a massive rear-end slide that could have very easily gripped a bit more aggressively and chucked him over the highside; that one didn’t, but it was only a matter of time before one did.
Sometimes people crash because they make a small mistake, or someone close to them makes a small mistake, and causes them to crash. I don’t think Marc’s highside was caused by a ‘mistake’ as such, I think it was just caused by the fact that he was pushing so bloody hard. And by the looks of it, harder than he’s ever pushed before. He’s clearly desperate to be back on winning form, but with a field of GP riders that’s as strong as it is, it’s not going to be easy, not even for Marc Marquez.
I’ve no doubt that Marc Marquez is still one of the best motorcycle racers the world has ever seen. But he can’t keep doing what he’s doing, and getting away with it. He’s been as dominant as all of the other greats, more dominant than most in fact, but until he figures out how to stop crashing his Repsol Honda, he’s not going to match Valentino Rossi’s nine world championships (he’s on eight at the moment). He certainly isn’t likely to beat Agostini’s fifteen world championships (although that’s a bit different, as Ago spent ten years racing in the 350cc and 500cc classes at the same time, which was normal back then).
I’m not trying to tell Marc Marquez how to do his job, since I’m not really qualified to do that in any way, shape or form. But I’m petrified were going to see him give himself yet another career threatening injury any time now. And that would be devastating for the sport. I wouldn’t consider myself as a huge Marc Marquez fan, but after everything he’s been through, I’d love to see him win a few more races, and I’d be genuinely happy for the guy if he was to win another championship. But I just can’t see it happening the way it’s going.
I hope I never ever have to witness another crash as big as that one MM93 had yesterday. It still scares me to think about it now. So if you’re reading this Marc, calm down will you, for Christ’s sake? Take a deep breath. I know you want to win another MotoGP title, but you’re not going to do that from a gravel trap or a medical centre.
To finish first, first you must finish. So do yourself a favour and start finishing some races. And please stop crashing.