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.
Márquez: his winning secret
Mat Oxley sits down with newly crowned 2018 MotoGP champion Marc Márquez
Marc Márquez is the youngest rider to win five premier-class crowns, taking the record from Valentino Rossi. And he does it with the most spectacular riding technique: sliding the front and the rear at every other corner. So what are his secrets?
It’s three years since MotoGP changed to spec software and Michelin tyres, so what has changed for you, do you have to ride the bike more sweetly?
Yeah, it’s true that during the last three seasons in MotoGP the biggest change has been the Michelins, because they completely changed the balance of the bike. If you remember when everyone first tried the Michelins at the end of 2015 there were many crashes, because with the Bridgestone set-up the balance of the bike was completely different to what we needed with the Michelins.
The Bridgestone front was so good and the rear had no grip and the Michelins are the opposite. So, first of all, we adapted the bikes and also our riding style a little bit. Also, when they changed the software everything changed, because before you were able to use the electronics to be fast and now it’s the opposite: the less electronics you use the faster you go, because the software works in a different way.
With the factory software you were able to completely believe in the electronics and work in any way you wanted, using the electronics to be faster. Now it’s the opposite: you need to be quite free without using too much of the controls and also you need to be quite smooth, so that you don’t work against the electronics.
Do you prefer racing with less electronics, so it’s you, not the ECU?
Yes, for me, less electronics is better, because then everything is more in your hand, in your body, in yourself. But also it was really nice to work with good electronics. The software we have now isn’t bad, but it was good to ride with high-level electronics because you were able to concentrate on other things: just open the gas full and try to do your best, so it was easier.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.