“He knows already that, in two laps, my tyre will drop so he already starts to pick up the bike early, to save the tyre” – Jonas Folger
do you want to know just what it takes to win in MotoGP? Jonas Folger has describes the substantial talents of Marc Marquez, explaining how the current championship leader adapts his riding style over a race to match the ever-changing performance of his tyres.
The rookie had an opportunity to witness Marquez’s race craft first hand during a vibrant ride at his home grand prix at the Sachsenring, where he surprisingly was ahead of Marquez for a big portion of the 30-lap race.
Folger described on how much he had learned from Marquez in the exchange, an encounter he remembered in detail after the Brno test at the Czech Grand Prix on monday.
According to the Folger, Marquez had “four different stages” in the race. During each, he would adjust his style, adapting to the ever-decreasing grip offered by Michelin’s front and rear tyre.
Folger described how Marquez. Already a five-time world champion at just 24 years of age he would anticipate each stage, changing his approach, line, and body position two or three laps before a suspected drop in tyre performance arrived, to ensure the shift was as seamless as it could be.
“The best thing I saw was when he started to change his riding style, because I was always waiting until my tyre dropped,” Folger stated at Brno. “Then I was changing my riding style.”
“He is doing this before. He knows already that, in two laps, my tyre will drop so he already starts to pick up the bike early, to save a little bit the tyre, so it makes the tyre’s life even longer.”
“That’s what I saw from him and it was very nice to see. There were four different stages. You can see always one step, another step… He’s not just pushing until five laps to go and then changing. He’s already starting on lap six.”
“[It] Looks like in this race weekend honestly we are not losing on acceleration,” he said on Saturday, after securing pole in Austria. “We are the same like [our] competitors. We find a very good balance with the bike. For last year, I was losing much more, but I was riding without wings. I was riding with a completely different balance of the bike.”
“[It was] Was really important Monday test in Brno because we start to prepare this race. It Looks like this year I am feeling better with the bike, better acceleration. Of course, I’m losing in other points and I’m struggling a little bit, but also I tried to adapt my riding style to the bike. I’m very happy and very proud to be fast on this racetrack.”
While Marquez didn’t give much away, fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who has access to the data of both Repsol Honda riders, was more than in dazzle with the MotoGP reigning world champion’s change in technique.
“Normally, if you get the acceleration [here] you stay there at the front,” he said after qualifying in Austria. “Marc’s been the king of it this weekend. Honestly, how he’s improved since being here last year in acceleration…
“I think it’s a combination of both improvements to the RC213V and Marquez’s riding. But he’s riding fantastic in that area, really, really well. Getting the bike stopped, turned and getting it out. Normally that’s Dani’s Pedrosa strong point and he’s murdering Dani.”
Marquez’s amazing abilities have never been in doubt. But in recent races rivals’ comments underline the level of assessment that goes into his riding. With podiums in each of the past five races, it is hard to imagine anyone stopping Marc Marquez in his search for a fourth premier class crown.