Ryder Notes: Texas Lean
by julian ryder on the ground in Texas
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Marquez at Austin. Words fail.
image by the incomparable brian j nelson

I had one of those moments today in qualifying; One that I know I'll remember for as long as I have an interest in racing motorcycles. It's going alongside the one I had yesterday.

Today's involved Kevin Schwantz, a guest in the BT Sport commentary box where I try and earn a dollar. He'd sat in on qualifying, offering the viewers a few well-honed, uber-insightful snippets. At the end of the broadcast, a repeat of a super-slo-mo of Marc Marquez in a righthander was replayed. Kevin took over with Marc a little wide on entry: "I need a bit of that paint.... so I'll spin the rear up...... (Marc's front tyre duly clips the painted curb).... that's where I wanna be." There followed a short pause, perfectly timed for effect: "Only Marc Marquez can do this."

Ben Spies had hardly been less effusive on Friday. At the end of free practice, he, too, took the broadcast over: "I need to explain a couple of things."

He'd already talked about his retirement and the shoulder, so what did he have on his mind? "When I was riding I was maybe in the top six in the world, maybe towards the top on a good day." No arguing with that. "If Jorge or Valentino went past I could look and see what they were doing, maybe see they were a little smoother than me, but I understood.

"When Casey Stoner or Marc Marquez went past, I had no idea how they could do that stuff."

So there you have it. On the best possible authority. We are watching an all-time great.


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