MotoGP »

Martin Raines (MotoGP stats) - Q&A

“I think that Valentino is suffering a little because he never had to push on a full tank of fuel and new tyres and now he's trying to do that as a 34-year-old” - Dr Martin Raines.
During the Valencia season finale,'s Stephen English had the chance to sit down with MotoGP's official statistician Dr Martin Raines.

What had been planned as a five minute chat about Marc Marquez' rookie season became much more wide ranging, with Raines comparing the current crop of riders to those of previous eras as well as looking at the health of British motorcycle racing...
What have you thought about Marc's performance this year?

Martin Raines:
I think that Marc has been sensational and has exceeded all of our expectations as a rider. It's always been difficult for riders in their first year - even Jorge, Valentino and Dani found it difficult when they came up to the top class - but I think that he's been absolutely superb.

He's a sensation and a really talented guy. I think that he's been a little fortunate at times because he's crashed quite a lot but he's managed to get away with most of them. I think that he's crashed 13 times and walked away from them. Jorge has crashed three times and damaged himself. So Marc was a little fortunate in that way but as a rider he's certainly one of the fastest that I've ever seen and he's the quickest rookie I've seen.
Given his age and his status as a rookie he'll always be compared to Freddie Spencer and Kenny Roberts. Where do you think he falls between those names?

Martin Raines:
We compare him to Roberts because he's a rookie but Kenny was no youngster when he was a rookie. He was perhaps 27 when he arrived and a really experienced road racer and dirt tracker and he had a great crew with him and he arrived at a time when the strength in depth wasn't quite what it is now. But he did fantastic because he was coming to new circuits so that was a phenomenal year when he came and beat Barry Sheene... I wasn't happy because I was a big Sheene fan!

It was a great achievement what he did because he had only one bike I think and he was also the only one racing Goodyear tyres at that stage, we don't know if that was an advantage or a disadvantage though because he was the only guy using them. But he made the most of any advantage he had and was superb against Barry Sheene who had dominated the previous two years and won the title as a rookie.

Freddie [Spencer] is the other one. Freddie for me, up to Casey [Stoner] in the last few years and maybe Marc now, is the fastest guy that I've ever seen on a motorcycle. On an individual race at his best I think that he could have beaten anyone that I've seen. I'm not going back to the Mike Hailwood's because I didn't see those guys so I'm going back to the early 1970s. I think that the accomplishment that Freddie did you can compare Marc to but you also can't compare them.

Freddie arrived having not been in this paddock and not knowing the circuits and in his first year he goes to somewhere really scary, Spa-Francorchamps, and wins first time out as a 20 year old. In his second year he beats Kenny Roberts who was a great rider with six years' experience but Freddie comes along with a three cylinder Honda, that probably didn't have a lot of advantages over Kenny's Yamaha, and won the title.

Tagged as: raines

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lorenzo, Valencia MotoGP 2013
Marquez`s Michelin rain tyre, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi rain tyre, Dutch MotoGP 2017
KTM rain light, Dutch Moto3 2017
Rossi, rain, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, rain, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, rain, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Rossi, rain, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Spanish MotoGP 2017
Michelin rain tyre, Argentinian MotoGP 2017
Raining on the grid, Qatar MotoGP race 2017
Bendsneyder, Oliveira, Raining, Qatar Moto2 2017
Girls, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Water on the track, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Track drying, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Track drying, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Track drying, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Lightning, Qatar Moto2 test 17-19th March 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.