While Marc Márquez's 2013 MotoGP World Championship success was undoubtedly down to the 20-year-old's incredible talent, there were a number of contributors to the effort that provided Márquez with the means for success.
Key figures and a strong Repsol Honda unit all made for a solid structure that aided Márquez's seemingly effortless transition to the MotoGP ranks...
Honda Racing Corporation's Executive Vice President was the man who took the decision to bring Márquez into the factory team for 2013.
Nakamoto has revealed that he offered Márquez a factory spec bike for the 2012 season back in 2011, but the youngster wanted to win the Moto2 title before he stepped up.
Nakamoto then went all out to get Márquez into the Repsol Honda set-up to replace Casey Stoner for the 2013 season.
To be honest before the start of the season we didn’t expect Marc to win the Championship this year.
- Shuhei Nakamoto
“We knew he had the potential to win several races and he learned very quickly! Usually a rookie struggles to keep a good lap time throughout the entire race, as the MotoGP machine is very demanding on tyres, but by Assen (Round 7 of 18) Marc understood how to manage the tyres to the end of the race.”
Not officially part of the Repsol Honda set-up but more a personal manager and advisor to Márquez, former 125cc World Champion Alzamora is the man credited with discovering the new MotoGP World Champion and guiding his career on its so far phenomenal trajectory.
Marc is an exceptional rider. His maturity at just 12 years of age impressed me, the attention he paid to everything, the way he listened and learned. He was like a sponge.
- Emilio Alzamora
“In pre-season we could see he was already going really fast. For the first six races the bike was more in control of him... but after winning three races consecutively he had more control of the bike and over the set-up. From that point, we thought: Why not?”
Márquez's crew chief throughout his time in Moto2 – in which they secured a World Championship – Hernández has been by his fellow Spaniard's side since late 2010.
Alzamora had to push hard and negotiate with HRC's top brass to bring Hernández up to MotoGP and into the Repsol Honda set-up as Márquez's crew chief, but the faith paid off with the duo's continued excellent working partnership.
Marc is very intelligent and has the ability to learn very quickly. He listens to all the feedback we give him and he is able to translate that into his performance on track immediately.
- Santi Hernández
“It’s a relationship that works very well. With a rider like Marc, he never fails to surprise you! Just when we thought we’re close to the maximum on the bike, he is able to find an extra two-tenths, or make a pass when you don’t expect him to. He’s a very strong rider with a attitude to keep learning.”