Wayne Rainey, the triple 500cc world champion has given his expert view on MotoGP’s current top four contenders. Rainey describes Repsol Honda’s reigning double champion Marc Marquez as someone who loves to fight and wants the others to fight back. Rainey added: “When you walk through the paddock you always want to think that you are the best guy there and the only way you know this is from your result. Right now Marquez has the best results.”
Marquez is the youngest rider on the premier-class grid at age 21. The oldest now is the former seven time champion Valentino Rossi who has his best season in 2009 and Marquez nearest challenger in 2014. According to Rainey, “I am not surprised about Valentino at this stage of his career. I remember the feeling of when I was 22 or 26 compared to when you are 31, or 32, or Valentino’s age [36 next month]. The one thing that you have is experience, you know what is important and what is not so important.”
“When you’re young and your helmet is on you want to go fast all the time. When you are older, like a nice wine, you know where you must go fast and where it is not so important. I think Valentino understands that point.” – Wayne Rainey
Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo came within four points of beating Marquez in 2013, only to suffer a miserable first half of last season. Lorenzo later matched Rossi with two wins and Rainey predicts that the Spaniard will learn from the experience.
“The reality is in Jorge’s mind that Marquez is here to stay. He is real, he is popular, he’s brave and he loves to fight. But I also know that Lorenzo is the same guy. I know he can do this also,” Rainey said. “I’m not sure Jorge believed that last year, but my feeling is that he knows that this year he must focus on Marquez. I think we will see a different Lorenzo this year, I think he will be more consistent and his mind should be more ready for the battle. This comes with age.”
Dani Pedrosa has the unenviable task of being team-mate to Marquez. Although Pedrosa was the rider that finally halted Marquez’s ten-race win streak, it would be his only victory of 2014 and Pedrosa finished fourth in the standings.
“Dani is getting older so I think he is running out of opportunities to try to beat this guy [Marquez],” Rainey said. “Pedrosa reminds me a lot of Luca Cadalora. On a better day, a couple of days a year they were unbeatable. Then some days you would look and say, ‘well you were so fast last week, but this week you were so much the other way.’ This is that consistency thing. When the good guys have a bad day they finish second.”