Alex Marquez: "I was trying too hard to match what Marc did"
Alex Marquez admits he put too much pressure on himself to emulate elder brother Marc's success when he joined Moto2 last season.
After taking the Moto3 title in 2014, Marquez has struggled to recapture his winning form in a season-and-a-half of Moto2 with the Marc VDS team.
In his rookie season in the intermediate class last year, the 20-year-old finished 14th in the points with a best finish of fourth place, while this year he lies 15th, having taken the first top-five of his sophomore campaign at Brno.
Having picked up momentum after a shaky start to the year, Marquez says that the difference between now and his rookie season is that he is no longer pressuring himself to be a front-runner.
"Last year was my first year and it was not the best one, not the one we had expected in the beginning of the year," he told Motorsport.com.
"But sometimes this can happen, especially in Moto2, which is a very difficult category; this we knew before the start.
"This year the step was that in all the circuits I had the same pace. At some tracks my riding style is a little bit better, but at tracks were we struggled a lot last year, we were there.
"Austria was a new track, before we thought it would be a difficult weekend, but it wasn’t. So we are there this year. We are on a correct way. And now there come circuits, that I like."
Asked if Marc's instant progression from 125cc title-winner to Moto2 race-winner meant the pressure was on to do the same, Marquez added: "Last year, yes. I put my expectations for myself too high.
"When you see somebody like Marc, Maverick [Vinales] or someone like this you say 'ok: I can make this also'. But if you think like this – and I know now – this is not the correct way.
"You need to be concentrated on yourself and not look what Marc or Maverick did in their first year.
"This year I am more concentrated on myself, and I know if I do everything more like in Moto3 I know I can arrive to be as fast rider. This is the way."
Despite his struggles, Marquez was recently confirmed for a third successive Moto2 season at Marc VDS, which also runs Jack Miller and 2014 intermediate class champion Tito Rabat in MotoGP.
Marquez says that Rabat's unique style was difficult to learn from in his first season, and could be the reason why the Barcelona-born rider has struggled to make a big impact in the top class this year.
"We had some possibilities to build our own team, a new one, with the Moto3 team," explained Marquez. "But in the first year it is important to have information from somebody.
"When Marc VDS came, this was the best option. Tito was here last year and World Champion. I said, 'ok, I can have his information and learn a lot'.
"During the year with Tito, it was difficult, because in the data we saw that he is a completely different rider from everybody here in the paddock. It was impossible to make the time in those parts of the circuit, where he did.
"He has a style, that is completely different from everyone. Maybe for this reason he is struggling a bit in MotoGP, because he needs to change a lot his riding style for him, but in Moto2 that was really good.
"But for my first year I decided it is good to go to a team that has a lot of experience, they had Mika [Kallio] and Tito and made first and second [in the points], so no better team to go to."
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