MotoGP rookie sensation Marc Marquez is becoming more and more comfortable with the perks of power. Marquez leads the standings by 30 points over Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa entering the Grand Prix of San Marino this weekend - a gap of more than a race.
The kid is bad-ass, and he knows it. But Marquez's perky, impish personality hasn't become brooding or haughty. Far from it.
But his confidence is growing by the week as he edges closer and closer to becoming the first rookie to win the premier-class title since Kenny Roberts in 1978. A journalist asked Marquez on Thursday at Misano about his reaction to the announcement Yamaha would use a seamless-shift transmission for the first time on the M1 machines of championship rival Jorge Lorenzo and legend Valentino Rossi this weekend.
"I do not care," Marquez said. "It is clear that it would be better (for me) without (seamless shift on Yamahas), but it's not something that I lose sleep."
There's also a more innocent reason Marquez is unconcerned with Yamaha's latest technical development: He never has ridden a Grand Prix prototype without seamless shift, so he has no experience to compare. Honda's machines have featured the seamless gearboxes since 2011.
Yamaha's seamless system is different from Honda's in one key area, according to a Spanish report. Gears on the RC213V can be changed without pulling the clutch lever, but Lorenzo and Rossi still will need to use the clutch on their M1's with the seamless system.
He offered some very interesting info on how the Honda system works.
"I personally almost never use the clutch to change, hard braking only when you reduce many gears, but do not use it," Marquez said. "It is more by instinct, by necessity, almost never, only when braking like Malaysia, sixth to second in a few meters, or as in Austin, where the sixth straight pass to first. But also not much."