Published : 04-23-2013
The sun was going down at COTA sunday night when we made our last pass through the paddock. Walking behind the garages, we stumbled on Marc Marquez and some friends relaxing. The day’s MotoGP race winner and history-changer was sitting in a camping chair, with his cap on. With him were some Alpinestars staff and a mechanic.
We descended on him like school girls.
Bicefiesta went first, shaking his hand and congratulating him on his win. He welcomed him to winning in America and told him he’d done a good job. Full of nervous energy, he emphasized his point by telling Marquez he’d done a good job at least four more times while pumping his arm like doing so could bring water from the earth. When Marquez finally pulled his hand from Bice’s grasp, someone else from our party high-fived him.
Marquez was relaxed, one leg crossed over the other, wearing shorts. He looked like a colt that just learned to run that day. He was still laughing with his friends as he tolerated our intrusion. Suddenly the area opened and it was me standing in front of Marquez in the dimming Austin sun.
I have a son the same age as Marquez. I slapped the calf of his crossed leg to get his attention. We locked eyes.
“You,” I said pointing at him. “Never forget that you’re a rider. Don’t let anything distract you. Don’t get a radio show, buy a restaurant or worry about which sunglasses you should wear. Ride. Win. Win everything. Anything is possible now, but don’t forget that you’re a rider.”
Marquez looked at me for a few seconds more, then gave me a half-cocked pirate smile like I’d just caught a momentary glimpse of his cards.
We stomped off.