1 May 2013
Austin MotoGP: Baker's Dozen
In his latest Crash.net feature, rider manager Phil Baker answers 13 questions from inside the paddock at the inaugural MotoGP event at Austin, Texas...
What are your thoughts on the Circuit of the Americas facility? What makes it special?
It's a spectacular circuit with excellent facilities. The layout of the track suits the F1 boys more, but that said, the track is really exciting to view with many long straights and sweeping corners.
It appears that no expense has been spared, and the one thing that stands out in particular is the friendliness of the people of Austin towards the fans and those within the paddock.
The unique viewing tower is an incredible experience for the brave of heart! It is incredibly high and you can see the whole track, the skyline of Austin and half of Texas. The flooring has a glass bottom, so not for those who suffer from vertigo.
There are some exceptional people running the track as well. In particular, the former team manager of Team Roberts, Chuck Aksland and also Mel Harder who brought MotoGP to Indy. With these two at the helm and with their experience, this race stands to be smoothly run for years to come.
How special do you think Marc Marquez is? Can he fight for the title this year?
I spoke to two prominent senior managers from other manufacturers and both agreed that Marc is an exceptional talent, but that he is so on the limit that it is only natural that he will also go over that limit at some point.
The question is how often and will it affect his chance of taking the title. Only time will tell, but he has a great team behind him and I believe that if he keeps it upright, he will be right there fighting for the title in his rookie year.
What does Marquez's race-winning form mean for Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo?
It means business as usual for Jorge. One alien [Casey Stoner] leaves as another joins. Jorge knew that Marc was going to be strong and is ready for the challenge. Pedrosa on the other hand must be feeling the heat. This is his eighth year with the Repsol factory team and no world title at the top class. When he joined Repsol Honda he was to be the next Spanish champion, but pretty soon, this mantle was taken by Jorge and now he has perhaps his toughest team-mate to date and what is more, he is also Spanish. The heat is on!
Looking over all three classes, what were your main thoughts on race day?
It seems that the race in Texas is an appropriate place to bring up the headline “There's a new kid in town”, because Marc Marquez was spectacular and rode a perfect race. In only his second race, he did precisely the right thing and that was to follow his more experienced team-mate and learn so much from him, before making his move and showing him a clean pair of heels. No doubt the start of a very illustrious career in the MotoGP class. Welcome to the Aliens!
Moto2 and Moto3 were really entertaining races with great battles all the way through. Being such a long track, there is always the fear that the field will pan out and a procession will ensue, but thankfully this was not the case. Let's not forget the Red Bull Rookies as well who also put in some great races.
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