An exclusive interview with Moto3 world champion Alex Marquez, currently preparing for his rookie Moto2 season with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team.

Alex, younger brother of double MotoGP title winner Marc, is the new team-mate of Moto2 champion and good friend Esteve Rabat...
How was your first winter as a reigning world champion?

Alex Marquez:
Yes, a really good winter. I make some dirt track races and also motocross races. We tried a little bit to relax but also with some racing. I love the bikes and I need to do something with the bike because without [it] the winter is so long!
Did you find much time to rest?

Alex Marquez:
No, to relax maybe I rest one week. After one week I make some presentations with the sponsors and the team also. I rest a little bit off the bike physically but this winter I never stop. One week at home but [there was] always a little bit with the bike to enjoy the training. I enjoy the training but more to be with my friends and the bike.
What is the biggest change in moving from Moto3 to Moto2?

Alex Marquez:
This is different because [from] Moto3 to Moto2 [there is] double power and double weight. I enjoy a lot with the Moto2 bike because without the electronics you can play a lot with the bike and I like it. I need to understand some things to improve. [For example] to try and make the laps more constant but the first impression is so good. When you brake in the braking points you fight a lot with the rear tyre. Before with the 125 I think the difference with Moto2 is more big. With the Moto3 machine to the Moto2 it's closer to the same. With the engine braking it's more easy to adapt to the riding style.
That's interesting. From 2011-13 we saw 125 graduates struggling at first in the intermediate class. Is this why class rookies Vi?ales, Salom and Folger were much stronger in 2014 in your opinion?

Alex Marquez:
Exactly. I think this is the reason. Also in the Moto3 you can play a little bit with the engine braking. So Moto2 is the same.
Is it nice being a rookie again where the pressure isn't so high?

Alex Marquez:
Yes, exactly. You don't have the pressure to win, win and win. You can play a little bit. You can take more risks in the races to make 120 percent. [You can] enjoy [it] and to try and go on the limit. If you are happy and with the team you can make a really good job. Also you can do some surprise at the end of the year so we will see.
Scott Redding has said he isn't concerned about lap times during the winter. Your testing times have been moderate thus far. Are you adopting the same approach?

Alex Marquez:
Yes but also I see the lap times. In the end the most important part of the competition is this. If you can make the lap time then you don't need to work on anything. So we need to see the times and understand where we need to improve. It's normal in the test.
How is the relationship with Naoya Kaneko, your new crew chief, and the rest of the team?

Alex Marquez:
It's good. Really good. The feeling with the bike and the team is good. The atmosphere, we go for dinner and everything is really good. Everyone is doing their work and we work in the same way. I have a really good feeling with the team.
You are obviously good friends with Tito Rabat, your new team-mate and the reigning Moto2 champion. Will it be possible to maintain this relationship while fighting on the track?

Alex Marquez:
This is the objective - to keep the same relationship! It's ok but the reality is that in motorbikes only one rider wins, not a team. Only one rider has the chance. At the moment the relationship is the same. We need to say, 'Ok, on the track is where we are racing. Outside is the same relationship [as before].' We both need to understand this.
Will you be measuring your progress against other class rookies - in particular ex-team-mate Alex Rins - in 2015?

Alex Marquez:
In the end it is normal to try and be with Rins because he is the rookie. I want to win this trophy at the end of the year so it is normal to compare. We will see after the first race in which position we are.
You seem to have improved with each test. What is the aim for the final pre-season test in Jerez and what are your objectives for opening races?

Alex Marquez:
This is the objective - to make another step. We will see but the objective is to always improve. [When the season starts] to make some podiums and to stay constant in the top ten.


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