If 2016's MotoGP season taught us anything, it's that Marc Marquez is more than willing to analyse past mistakes, learn from them, and put them right – usually in emphatic fashion. The fourth running of the Superprestigio dirt track event in Barcelona was no different.
There, Marquez swept aside an early challenge from American Flat Track star Brad Baker to win the event for the second time, and finish what has been his finest year in motorcycle racing in fine style.
Speaking after the Superfinal, in which he beat Toni Elias by just under a second, Marquez put his success down to learning from the experiences of 2015, when a lousy start in the showpiece event granted Baker enough of an advantage to hold to the flag.
There would be no repeat this time around, as Marquez exited the first corner in second and swept into the lead moments later. That moment was key, he said, while the support of the engineers he has forged such a close bond with in Repsol Honda throughout the day no doubt helped.
“I'm really happy because last year I was really close to victory and this year I got it,” said a jubilant Marquez, now a five-time world champion at the tender age of 23.
“Last year I know the mistake I did was the first corner. This time I tried to be in a different way and it worked well. Especially the pace was really good. Toni was pushing a lot. the pace this year was maybe the best year for what I feel.
“One of the reasons for this is my team. They arrive here and Santi Hernandez arrived like a MotoGP race, with everything with him. [He said] 'OK, last year you put the tyre here,' and we did a really good job. I think everyone enjoyed the party. I'm sorry for Julian Simon and Ricky Cardus. I don't want to forget them because in the end this is like a party. I'm really happy.
“One of the surprises, like I said yesterday, was the level. The level of this race was really, really high. Another thing was all the people were really excited and very aggressive in the first corner.
“There were many crashes so every year it's coming more and more dangerous but it's something that we need to manage. In the end the most important thing is all the people are happy with the final result."
Pressed on what he had improved in terms of riding the dirt in changeable conditions, Marquez pointed to a revised bike set-up, which was more in line with what Baker and fellow flat tracker Jared Mees had used in the 2015 event.
“Honestly one of the things that we changed was the bike set-up. I liked it. Last year I was with a really low bike but I saw Toni, Brad, and I tried Jared Mees' bike, which I liked a little bit better. This is one of the things.
“Then in the end dirt track races, you must have the pace, you must be fast, but the start is crucial. Last year Brad led the race. I was there, pushing him but it was not possible to overtake. This year I led from the second corner and everything was much easier. Everything is related.
“Also the level increased because after one more year we have experience with the bikes, with the riding and I can adapt a little bit easier to the different conditions.”