Valencia: It is not often that a world champion is profusely apologetic about a mistake he committed on the very day he was to be crowned for the season.
The Spaniard Marc Marquez seems to be made of a higher and different mettle. On the very evening of his coronation as world MotoGP champion for the fifth time, he told the media that no one else was to blame but himself for his crashing out of the last race of the season in Valencia.
“This was my first big mistake of the season,” Marquez kept saying zillion times.
He had chosen medium wet tyres for the rain after having used soft tyres in the morning practice session in the wet and finished 0.80 second faster than anyone else.
“My rear wheel kept going down and down in the water,” he said, which was when his bike seemed to buck like a bronco and threw him across the gravel. “The first thing I told the team on coming back in was that I was sorry,” and he said so on the very day that the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) had won the triple crown for best driver, the constructor’s championship and the best team title.
“I must learn from my mistake because I know I want to be perfect,” he said with disarming candour at the English press conference at which the visiting Indians press contingent that was in Valencia at the invitation of HRC fired most of the questions.
The error of judgment on Marquez’s part may have been a bit of a dampener in what was otherwise one of HRC’s best seasons at the end of which Dani Pedrosa took an emotional farewell.
When told how grateful Marquez was in having learnt so much from him when he was new at Honda, the fellow Spaniard wasn’t so impressed.
“He seems to have learnt only the good things, not the bad ones,” was Pedrosa’s wisecrack at his more famous colleague.
A new bike and a new season which will be a harbinger of big rule changes will be motivation enough, the champ said. He will have Jorge Lorenzo as his teammate in 2019, which will probably make Honda even more formidable among the major six teams that dominate world motorcycle racing. Before the season, there will be a shoulder surgery and a six-week rehab for the champion. More will be heard of this lad as the years roll by. There is not even a hint of hubris in him. That alone should make him a finer sportsman....