MotoGP must not become like F1, where the car is more important than the driver

In recent years MotoGP has seen major development in aerodynamics and ride height devices on motorcycles, leading to debates about safety and whether they add value to the spectacle.

PLUS: Was the 2022 MotoGP won by Bagnaia – or lost by Quartararo?

From 2023, front-positioned ride-height devices will be banned – a move Ducati found unsportsmanlike when agreed by manufacturers.

In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Autosport, six-time MotoGP World Champion Marquez gave his thoughts on the series’ current competitive regime.

In doing so, Marquez revealed he had raised concerns in MotoGP’s safety committee that the series was at risk of going in a direction where riders on bikes could make less of a difference – comparing it to what he believes is now the norm is F1.

“The guys at the front are always the fastest,” said the Honda rider when asked if the current leaders in MotoGP pose a real threat.

“It’s true that now or in the years I’ve felt every time the machine is [becoming] more important than the rider.

“Nevertheless, the driver is more important than the machine – at least that’s what I want to believe. But every time you depend more on what you have than when you don’t have it [competitive] You can’t do anything with the bike.

“It’s not like Formula 1, which is another extreme, but we’re going in that direction and we have to be careful.

“And I’ve already said in some safety committees that ‘guys, we have to be careful because at the end of the day we have to realize that the riders are more important than the bikes.’

“That’s one thing, but on actual bikes the fastest guys are the ones at the front; those are [Enea] Bastianini, Peco [Bagnaia], [Fabio] Quartararo, Aleix [Espargaro] this year.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“And we’ll see if we can fight with them in the future.”

Marquez – who had a fourth major operation earlier in 2020 on his right arm, which he badly fractured and missed six races in 2022 – explained that with all the latest developments, MotoGP bikes are becoming “less manual”, leading to a led much narrower field.

“The thing is now everything is the same because the limit is the bike,” he added.

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“It’s true that the difference between a service bike and a satellite bike used to be bigger.

“Now there is no difference. The satellite teams have official bikes. So you have the tools.

“But what happened and you will understand immediately? Before I got into MotoGP you didn’t have full torque when you put it into fourth gear on a straight because you were playing with the wheelie, with the rear brake, with the torque, with the posture.

“Now you go out and already in second and third gear with the holeshot [device]with the aerodynamics you have full torque and you are [tucked] in how [you are on] a Moto3 bike.

“So the bikes are less manual. Before it was more manual and you had to play with more things.

“So everything is more equal now because when it’s more manual you make more mistakes and it’s harder to get the full bike benefit. When the limit is there [it’s easier].”

Autosport will have an exclusive interview with Marc Marquez in the UK in the 22nd December issue of the magazine about his recovery from injury, the difficulties Honda has faced in 2022 and what he wishes for his future. You can subscribe to the magazine here:

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