Marc Marquez fearful that MotoGP is heading in same direction as F1

Sam Cooper
The starting grid with Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez on the front row. Belgium August 2022

The starting grid for the grand prix with Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez on the front row. Belgium August 2022

Marc Marquez has said that Formula 1 is an “extreme” when it comes to the rider vs machinery debate and hopes MotoGP does not go the same way.

It has often been argued how much a role both driver and car play in a World Championship win. While Lewis Hamilton has claimed seven F1 titles, there are those who believe he has only done so as a result of the machine beneath him.

Some of the drivers also follow this line of thinking, albeit not to the same degree, and the likes of Carlos Sainz have suggested they could be World Champion should all machinery be equal.

In Formula 2, cars and engines are the same across the board with teams aiming to gain an advantage through set-up changes. The W Series also featured mechanically identical cars.

However in F1, teams must follow a set of regulations but after that there is plenty of scope for experimentation – especially for those with big budgets. This suggests a reason why teams like Mercedes in the past decade and Red Bull this year have been able to create cars that are dominant over their rivals.

Meanwhile in MotoGP, the bikes are different but Marquez is concerned the emphasis is being taken away from the skill of the driver and onto the machinery.

“It’s true that now, or by the years, every time the machine I feel is [becoming] more important than the rider,” he told Autosport magazine.

“Still the rider is more important than the machine – or this is what I want to believe. But, every time you are depending more on what you have, because if you don’t have a [competitive] bike you can’t do anything.

“It’s not like Formula 1, which is another extreme, but we are going in that way, and we need to be careful.

“And I said already in some safety commissions that ‘guys, we need to be careful because in the end we need to keep it that the riders are more important than the bikes’.”

The six-time World Champion has been racing in MotoGP since 2013 and also suggested that improvements in aerodynamics have made things more “equal” as the cars are “less manual.”

“Before I arrived in MotoGP, when you put fourth gear on a straight, you were not at full torque, because you were playing with the wheelie, with the rear brake, with the torque, with the body position,” the Spaniard said.

“Now, you go out and already in second gear and third gear with the holeshot [device], with the aerodynamics, you have full torque and you are [tucked] in like [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, for that reason everything is more equal now because if it’s more manual then you will do more mistakes and it’s more difficult to take profit of all the bike. If the limit is there [it’s easier].”

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