Ryder Notes: The Game Changer
by julian ryder, on the ground in 'tina
Monday, April 28, 2014

You want a measure of just how good Marc Marquez is? Well he did something last done by Giacomo Agostini forty-three years ago: winning the first three races of the year off pole position. In 1971 Ago's opposition was, with due respect to the great man, composed of privateers on very CRT-esque air-cooled Suzuki twins and Kawasaki triples. There was even a Matchless in the top ten of the championship. Ago won the first eight races of the championship, the MV team didn't go to two of the last three races and he retired from the other round.

Contrast that level of competition to what Marc faces: a teammate who can push him, two factory Yamahas and a very decent array of satellite machinery that sees a grid regularly covered by less than three seconds. And against that fearsome array Marc is capable of winning as he pleases.

Dani Pedrosa is working like a Trojan to try and find a way to compete. He set the fastest lap in the race. Jorge Lorenzo got away from the start and avoided some pushing and shoving that dropped Marquez down the field. Surely this was Jorge's chance; he set about opening a gap. Marc duly got up to second, worked his way across the gap with ease then shadowed the Yamaha for the middle portion of the race before passing with eight laps to go. Jorge then had to suffer being passed late on by a charging Pedrosa.

He made it look easy, there is no other word for it.

Ridiculously easy. And all with the air of a young man having a great time. He appears immune to pressure. People who have been around Grands Prix paddocks for a good many years are seriously talking about the prospect of him winning every race this year. The boy is a an embodiment of that over used phrase ' a game changer.' If you want to beat him you are going to have to start doing what he does. A Yamaha person said to me before the race that they only had one problem this weekend; you can guess what it was, or rather who it was.

In 1965 Jack Nicklaus won the Open, and one of that sport's legends, Bobby Jones, said that "He [Nicklaus] was playing a game with which I am not familiar." There are a few people in the MotoGP paddock thinking along very similar lines today.


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