MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Marquez is still under pressure
He may be 2016 MotoGP world champion but Marc Marquez still has two important duties to perform at Valencia
You would think that Marc Marquez will be under no pressure this weekend. The 23-year-old wrapped up his third MotoGP title in Japan last month, so presumably this Sunday’s season-ending Valencia Grand Prix will be a heroic homecoming, a chance to glad-hand his Spanish fans and enjoy himself, free of any real concerns.
Not quite. Marquez will be under some serious pressure from Honda, because while he may have won his title, he hasn’t yet won Honda its prize. Honda currently leads Yamaha by 21 points in the constructors' world championship, so it’s not over yet.
The MotoGP constructors' title is much less famous than its equivalent in Formula 1, but you don’t need to be Einstein to understand why it’s a much bigger deal to the manufacturers than it is to most fans. Unlike Formula 1, MotoGP doesn’t follow a fully metered payment system to the teams so the difference between first and second in the teams' championship is probably zero. The money passed down by Dorna is also pittance in comparison, but it’s not about that, it’s about the competition…
Despite its relatively low-key status, motorcycling’s constructors' prize has as rich a history as its riders' prize.
This is how the FICM (forerunner of the FIM) announced the birth of world championship Grand Prix racing shortly after the end of the Second World War. “Commencing in 1949 the FICM will award the title of WORLD CHAMPION to the most successful driver (sic) and to the most successful manufacturer.” In other words, from the very beginning the sport offered equal-status awards to the top rider and the top manufacturer.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.