VR46 MotoGP riders Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi have been branded “superheroes” for their podium heroics in the Indonesian Grand Prix sprint. The …
The duo come to Indonesia carrying collarbone injuries, with Marini missing the Indian and Japanese GPs with his while Bezzecchi suffered a fracture in a training incident last Saturday.
Bezzecchi only arrived in Indonesia on Friday to be cleared to race having had surgery last Sunday, and went on to finish third in the sprint while Marini was second from a maiden pole.
Honda rider Marc Marquez branded the pair “superheroes” for what they achieved.
“It’s difficult to evaluate, because it’s not the first time we see a rider with a collarbone operated on a few days [ago] whose level is amazing,” Marquez said.
“So, when you do this kind of thing you can be a superhero or in case you crash and destroy it again, then there will be big trouble.
“So, it’s always that line: superhero or stupid. Today they were superheroes and amazing.
“It was amazing the way that they ride to be on the podium. Of course, it’s not only the bike. When some riders are doing something like Marini and Bezzecchi today, it’s also that the riders are very good and very strong.”
Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Bezzecchi, who remains third in the standings and 56 points off the lead, “didn’t expect” his charge to the podium.
“Was really difficult,” he said.
“I didn’t expect for sure to arrive here and today get a podium in the sprint. I decided to start on Wednesday morning, so it’s pretty good.
“But the start was good and in the first half of the sprint I felt physically very good. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline of the start of the race as always.
“But I felt good and once I got behind Luca, once I got closer I started to feel the slipstream and the hot air and to brake the bike was much more tough.
“There physically I started to struggle quite a lot.
“With Maverick even more because I was really close. But I was there, so I had to give my all to try to bring the bike to the end and to overtake Maverick in the end was very nice.
“Was tough. The champagne was good, but it was very hot. Tomorrow will be difficult, I think.”
Bezzecchi added that the pain in his collarbone is “nothing crazy”, while adding that his reasoning for trying to race in Indonesia in the first place was not about fighting for the championship.
“Anything can happen. For me, my target… I came here not to fight for the championship but to keep myself in the game, to stay close to them, not too far from them, and also to Brad [Binder] who is very fast and strong,” he noted.
“Always [Binder is fast] but especially in the end of the championship he is strong.
“So, the target I have in my mind when I decided to come here was to try to survive in any case. For sure right now the title fight is between Pecco [Bagnaia] and Jorge.
“They are closer, they are stronger than me – except in India – in the last races. But I try my best to stay close and continue to fight.”
Marini says his collarbone injury came “in the worst moment of the season” as it coincided with him taking a major step forward with his Ducati in terms of set-up at the Misano test.
“Proud of our day. It was amazing, but it’s from the Misano test that I’ve been feeling really great with the bike,” Marini, who fractured his collarbone in a sprint collision with Bezzecchi in India, said.
“We made a huge step forward, but unfortunately I decided to break my collarbone in the worst moment of the season.
“So, I complicated everything and this is a big pity because I’m feeling great. Today the bike was good to win I think, but I was not in a good condition.
“From lap four it was really difficult in the left corners. Fortunately, here we don’t have many left corners, so it’s great.
“But we’ll see tomorrow. It’s going to be a complicated race, my strategy will be completely different because today I knew I could stress my body at 100%. Tomorrow I will have to manage it.”