This weekend, the MotoGP circus returns to the UK for an all-out assault on Silverstone, and for at least one racer, the pressure is actually off.
Marc Marquez had won every race this year until the last round at Brno. Now, he says his job is easier, since nobody is looking for a perfect season from him anymore.
“I feel less pressure now as I know everyone was expecting me to win all of them, and it’s the championship that’s important, not winning every race,” Marquez said in an interview on MotoGP. “Brno was a difficult weekend but the most important thing is that we took important points.”
Dani Pedrosa, the man who won at Brno, said “Last year in Silverstone I was out of the battle with Marc (Marquez) and Jorge (Lorenzo) so this year I want to be sure to be up there with them.” Could his win have energized him enough to mount a serious challenge to Marquez again? Some inter-team competition could make the race a lot more interesting.
Some other MotoGP gossip: Jeremy McWilliams is also going to be racing at Silverstone, although not in the premier class. He’s going to be racing in Moto2 aboard a prototype Brough Superior from Taylor Made Racing, complete with carbon-fibre chassis. McWilliams, age 50, has been racing in Harley-Davidson XR1200 spec series for a while now. His last MotoGP win came aboard a 250 two-stroke; his last full season was in 2004.
This is his last year of Moto2 eligibility; he’s got 17 years of seniority on next-oldest racer 33-year-old Anthony West, who is himself a dinosaur by Moto2 standards. To make things even tougher, he hasn’t even really had the opportunity to properly test the bike to make sure it’s ready for action, as the team was only able to test the prototype at Mallory Park.
“We will arrive at Silverstone with very little testing under my belt on a very new prototype chassis that I don’t know a great deal about, but I did feel pretty comfortable at the end of the test at Mallory,” McWilliams said, adding that he’s keeping his expectations modest.
“The idea behind this project is that we take it to the next step, not getting too caught up in trying to come away with an absolutely stunning result. Although if we got into the top 20 that would make us very happy, but what we’re trying to do for Brough Superior and Taylor Made is get them to the next stage so they can go forward with development and hopefully race next year.”
Lastly – MotoGP.com also had a chat with Cal Crutchlow this week, and he opened up about his struggles so far this year.
“I have never been in such a situation in my career where I have been so slow and so bad. This is life and you have some good years and you have some bad years, but I am optimistic,” the British racer told them.
“I believe I have taken more strength on having a bad season up until now, but we still have half a year to prove that we are better than where we are. I believe I am in the same situation that a lot of the Ducati riders have been in their first year at Ducati. So I have to continue and try 110 per cent with the Ducati guys for the rest of the season. What I can take from it is to learn to be stronger for next year. It has been definitely character building.”
His explanation for his troubles: Crutchlow says he can’t get the bike to lean over as far as Dovizioso’s machine. “We have one clear thing with the bike that we do not understand, and it is that we can’t get the lean angle.
Crutchlow said he spent his years at Tech 3 trying to emulate Jorge Lorenzo’s style but that had to out the door when he moved to Ducati; according to him, the Ducati requires a style that only works with that machine.
“I am definitely changing my style now, but it is difficult to get out from what you have been doing for years,” he said.