Marquez’s Redemption Win at the Superprestigio
Wow. That is all I can say after watching the Superprestigio race on Saturday afternoon. I was racing at the Timonium Indoors, but we had the monitor set-up and we watched in between our practice sessions.
Everything about the event was awesome. The fans, the excitement and of course the riders participating. I was disappointed my sister Shayna struggled like she did. Realistically, she just wasn’t prepared enough to compete with the top guys at this event. Her speed was good, but it wasn’t enough to make the main event. Hopefully she can get invited again next year and we can do some testing on the 17″ tires and race with full confidence knowing she is prepared.
The crowd watching the Superprestigio at Timonium.
I was impressed with the improvements Marquez made on the dirt from January until December. At the last Superprestigio, Marquez looked very sloppy but he wasn’t afraid to twist the grip. This year, he looked more calm and actually raced very smooth. He still likes to ride with the rear wheel hung out sideways. His style right now actually reminds me of Sammy Halbert.
Thoughts on the track itself: I thought the track conditions looked terrible during the open practice on Friday night and even during qualifying on Saturday. One corner looked smooth and slick (Think Duquoin Short Track) and the other one looked rough and dry (Think Daytona Flat Track in Qualifying). The track looked much better for the actual races so hats off to the track crew for getting it into shape. Tracks that small are a crapshoot though. Anything can happen with lap times that short. Everyone is so close in lap times that if you don’t get a good start, you might as well plan on loading up early because you aren’t going to make up a lot of time on a short track. The races also seemed very short. I would have liked to see 8 or 10 lap heat races and a 25 lap main event.
I didn’t get to watch ALL of the races, but I did get to watch the Super Final. Mees and Marquez didn’t get the best start and there was quite a bit of carnage in turn one. I was very surprised both of them stayed upright. Marquez got through it faster than Mees and almost had a straight-away gap on Jared at the end of lap one. Marquez was in 3rd and Mees 4th. They worked past Dani Ribalta and early leader Kenny Noyes and the battle was on. Marquez stayed really smooth as Mees inched closer and closer. Just as we thought the fire works were going to erupt, the race was over and Marquez grabbed the win. I mentioned above that I had wished the main event was longer. Not because I had hoped Mees pulled off the win, but I just feel that a 15-lap race doesn’t allow enough time for everyone to get sorted out and start racing with each other.
I am not sure how many more laps it would have taken Mees to make the pass on Marquez. Mees was probably slightly faster than Marquez, but it wasn’t as visible as I predicted before the main event. Three more laps at the most and I think Mees would have made the pass, but that is just my opinion. It was cool to see Marquez pull off the win at his own race though. He puts a lot into his Flat Track program and it was obvious he has been training hard. His interaction with the fans was really cool to see. They love him over there in Spain!
There was a lot said about Marquez’s motorcycle. He is a factory Honda rider and I heard rumors that the CRF 450 he was riding had a lot of fancy parts and switches on it that some people have never seen before. I am sure HRC and Honda really wanted to win this event, almost as bad as Marquez did. I think if Mees had brought over his personal race bike, we might have seen a different outcome also.
I was bummed my buddy Brad Baker didn’t get to race the event. He had a gnarly crash in qualifying that left him with a dislocated shoulder and concussion. Brad was the fastest rider in every qualifying session prior to his crash. He is really comfortable racing with 17″ tires now and it would have been very interesting to see the outcome with him in the mix. Brad is used to racing slippery indoor tracks in the Pacific northwest and after watching some footage of him in qualifying, I felt like he was the man to beat. Unfortunately, crashing is part of racing motorcycles. Injuries suck. Get well soon Brad!
Chris Carr did an amazing job commentating. It was a bonus for us American fans to have him over there. I have said it for years, but we need to find him a respectable job somewhere in the management of the sport. He is a great mix of the past and the present and is worth every penny he deserves. Chris is a very intelligent, multi-time former champion who understands what it takes to succeed in the sport. Get him on the payroll!
I could sit here for hours and talk about the race. Make sure you tune into the Flat Track Weekly Radio Show Tuesday night 12/16/2014 for more news and insight on the event. We will also have American riders Brad Baker, Shayna Texter, and Jared Mees on to discuss their thoughts. Follow the link at 8pm EST/5pm PST to listen live.