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.
Is Marquez already champion?
Marc Marquez looks like he’s cruising to title number three, but is it really that simple?
MotoGP 2016 reaches two-thirds distance at Silverstone this weekend: round 12 of 18.
Marc Marquez goes into the race, which last year he failed to finish, holding a 53-point lead over Valentino Rossi. It would appear to be game over: even if Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo win the last seven races, Marquez can afford to finish second or third at every race and still take home the title.
But, in case you hadn’t already realised, this is motorcycle racing, so anything can happen. Marquez’s practice tumble at the Red Bull Ring – where he fell heavily trying to avoid a cruising Dani Pedrosa – showed how easy it is for riders and championships to be turned on their heads. Marquez went down like a sack of potatoes and was lucky to avoid the kind of injury that could have put him out of action for the Austrian and Czech GPs. And that was free practice, he wasn’t riding the edge, he just got caught up in a bit of a freak accident at a low-speed corner. In bike racing, it’s never over until it’s over.
That crash very nearly brought him undone, even though Marquez is a different man this year – no longer the win-or-bin-it, rostrum-or-hospital rider he used to be. Even during preseason testing he announced that he would approach 2016 differently.
“At the end of last season I analysed my championship a lot – I crashed in six races, so I made too many mistakes,” he said at Sepang in February. “OK, so now I know I have to finish these races to finish the season in a good way, I have to avoid mistakes.”
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.