Marc Márquez has been putting in the hard work in preparation for the 2016 MotoGP season. The Repsol Honda rider is on a mission to reclaim the title from Jorge Lorenzo, and with the pre-season testing schedule now done it’s just a matter of days until the bikes roll out for the first race in Qatar.
Ahead of Round 1, RedBull.com caught up with Márquez to find out how he’s been getting himself ready, how pre-season has gone, and who he thinks will be in the fight for the MotoGP crown this year.
I try to give 100 percent in every season, but this season comes with bigger challenges.Marc Márquez
RedBull.com: How have your preparations for the new season been going?
Marc Márquez: I try to give 100 percent in every season, but this season comes with bigger challenges, especially because we didn’t nail the championship in 2015. I have to work harder.
What have you been doing to get ready for 2016? Which areas have you focused on?
At the tests in Malaysia and Australia [in February] I focused on my physical condition and tried to adjust and understand the new bike’s electronics, and find the balance in the set-up of the bike.
See Marc undergoing a thorough fitness assessment:
How excited are you about the first race in Qatar?
I know this season will be difficult, but of course the first race is very exciting. It's always different, and here in Qatar, it's very special.
What are the unique challenges of racing at night, under floodlights, and in the desert for Round 1?
I’d say that this is the most special race out of the upcoming ones. We must understand where the race is taking place, but it's always special to start in Qatar. The timing is also good, it's well-lit, and even if you're racing at night, the circuit still looks like daytime.
I’d say Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa are my main opponents this year, but you never know who else could surprise you.
Who do you expect to be battling for the title in 2016? What are each of your rivals' strong points?
Of course Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa. The strength of Lorenzo is his speed; the guy is fast and once he's far ahead on track it's very hard to beat him. Valentino has a lot of experience and Dani’s comprehensive understanding of a situation is his strong point.
I’d say they're my main opponents this year, but you never know who else could surprise you, especially seeing how the Ducati team are getting stronger with a lot of technical improvements.
Always enjoy what you're doing and know your priorities.
Who are your riders to watch in Moto3 and Moto2 in 2016 and why?
In Moto2 my brother Álex. He's fighting for the top five positions. In Moto3, you never know, there are many talented riders, but I’d keep an eye on Jorge Navarro.
Away from racing, what’s your biggest challenge?
I actually try to enjoy life, but my biggest challenge is staying close to my family and friends. It’s difficult sometimes to maintain the same mentality and be the same person around your close group.
What’s a champion’s mind-set?
Always enjoy what you’re doing and know your priorities. Priorities change easily while you grow, but the challenge is maintaining a goal-oriented mindset.
What’s been your greatest life lesson?
I have a lot! I’ve learned so many lessons on my journey, but the greatest one is to believe in yourself and trust your family and friends. In the end, family, friends and your closest people are the ones who truly believe in you and want the best for you.
What’s your favourite quote?
No pain, no gain!