HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014
Marquez calm ahead of Spanish MotoGP
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, May 02, 2013
First Published: 09:36 IST(2/5/2013)
Last Updated: 09:38 IST(2/5/2013)

Marc Marquez became the youngest ever MotoGP winner a fortnight ago but he is not letting that success go to his head as he and his fellow riders prepare for Sunday's Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, last year's Moto2 world champion, showed few nerves in capturing the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but he says he is not expecting other victories to fall into his lap.

"I have to keep my feet on the ground after my success in the United States because here all the riders have a lot more experience than I do," he admitted.

Chief among those who will be chasing him down will be the Yamaha duo of his compatriot and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo and Italian legend Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo, who along with Rossi dominated testing in Jerez pre-season, said that the lay-out of the Jerez track would suit him better than the Austin circuit.

He was, however, outridden in this race last year by Honda's now retired Australian star Casey Stoner, who beat him by less than a second.   

"The fast bends will make it easier for us here," said Lorenzo, whose third place in the United States was his 100th podium finish 10 years after posting his first with victory in the Brazil Grand Prix.

Yamaha aren't panicking because of Marquez's stunning victory as they had held the upper hand in the opening race when Lorenzo won the Qatar MotoGP with Rossi second.

"The podium is our target," said team chief Wilco Zeelenberg.

"There is no rush to win as there are so many races still remaining."

Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa will also be keen to make his mark after a disappointing start to a season he is hoping will see him finally land the world title that has eluded him since he moved up to this category in 2006. 

Pedrosa, 27, has not won at Jerez since 2008 but will be looking to re-establish his pre-season status as number one Honda rider.

British rider Cal Crutchlow too can entertain hopes of victory on his Yamaha M1 as he recorded the fastest time of all the riders in pre-season training.

Ducati have had an even longer wait for victory here than Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden will lead their challenge to secure their first win since Loris Capirossi triumphed in 2006.

The Spanish home crowd will also be praying for wins in the Moto2 and Moto3 races.

Nicolas Terol will be keen to back up his success in Texas - his first win in 18 months - and take the overall lead in the Moto2 standing off consistent British rider Scott Redding.

The Moto3 race looks like being a toss up between three Spaniards Alex Rins, Luis Salom and Maverick Vinales, who has yet to deliver on his pre-season status as title favourite and, unlike his two compatriots, is yet to win this season.

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