In part one of my interview with Santi Hernandez, crew chief to Marc Márquez, Hernandez talked about how the team come up with the strategies which have given them a competitive advantage in MotoGP. In this second part, Hernandez moves on to talk about what makes Marc Márquez so special.
Hernandez discusses how Márquez pairs exceptional talent with absolute effort, and about Márquez attitude to risk, and how he balances the risk with the need to find the limit. This is a crew chief's view of what exactly makes a rider special.
Q: What about Marc is special? Is there something special in his riding – throttle, braking, balance? Anything like that?
Santi Hernandez: Yeah, he changed a lot from 2013 and now. He has more experience. He knows the bike much more, but also he learned about the championship. He learned how if you want to win the title you have to… At the beginning, he was all or nothing. Now he understands.
Q: Last year he won the championship on all the days when he didn't win the race.
SH: This is what I am saying. Of course, he learned, but for me the most key point for him is he always gives 100%, 120%, from FP1 until the race. It is good to work with a rider like this, because all the data you have is very good. It's not like one lap slower, one faster, two slower. Then it's so difficult, even for the rider, to choose the tire, the setup. So it's better that the rider always goes out, and even if the bike is not the best, he does 120%.
Q: At the start of this year, I went and watched all of Marc's crashes from last year and put them into a table and figured out all of them, and he crashes a lot but it seems that when he crashes it's almost always a safe crash. Last year, he only really had two really fast crashes, at Misano and Thailand, which were over 160 km/h. You talk about taking 110% but he takes 110% where he seems to understand the risk. He manages risk better.
SH: Of course, nobody wants to crash.
Q: No, but he doesn't seem to be afraid of crashing.
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