The Racing Capital
of the World
August 07, 2014 | By IMS
His competitors admit that Marc Marquez’s complete dominance in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship has been remarkable.
They’re just ready for it to be over. More than ready.
“Somebody needs to stop this,” said Aleix Espargaro of NGM Forward Racing.
“Hopefully he slows down a little because it’s getting embarrassing for the rest of the riders,” added Cal Crutchlow of the Ducati Team.
Marquez, the defending world champion, has made it look that easy through the first half of the season. The 21-year-old Spaniard has won all nine races on his Repsol Honda, a streak not seen in the modern era since Australia’s Mick Doohan won a record 10 in a row in 1997.
The 10th race of the season is on Sunday, at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. MotoGP will race on a reconfigured and partially resurfaced 16-turn, 2.591-mile IMS road course that incorporates a portion of the famous 2.5-mile oval.
Not only is Marquez unbeaten this season but he’s the defending champion at IMS, having won in 2013 as part of a four-race win streak in midseason that bolstered his run to the title as a rookie, the youngest in series history and the first rookie champion since Kenny Roberts in 1978.
In a very brief period of time, he’s become the overwhelming favorite in every race.
“You don’t feel that there’s no pressure, but you feel a little bit that maybe the day that I will not win will be a disaster – and it’s not like that,” Marquez said. “I always say maybe it will be here, maybe will be another race, but of course, some day, some Sunday with a ride by maybe Jorge (Lorenzo), Valentino (Rossi), Dani (Pedrosa) or someone else, they will beat me.
“This part of the season was perfect for me but the most important is to win the championship and not win a lot of races.”
With a 77-point lead over Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa, the championship is nearing a foregone conclusion. But the winning streak is lifting the entire sport and, as fellow riders have noted, more fans are tuning in just to see if the phenom can be beaten.
“That’s a pretty big story … if he does something that, well, maybe it’s been done in history, but you’re going back a long time,” said American Nicky Hayden, the 2006 world champion who will sit out Sunday’s race due to recovery from wrist surgery.
“Every so often, someone comes along and resets the bar.”
Will the bar be pressed up even more come Sunday at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP? That’s the question on everyone’s mind – and one that just about everyone in the paddock not associated with the No. 93 bike would like to see answered differently than from what has conspired the first half of the season.
“We have to try to beat him before the end of the championship for sure,” said Rossi, the six-time MotoGP champion who knows a little about dominance.
“Someone, some way.”