Marc Marquez admires ‘killer’ Max Verstappen’s ability to manage pressure

Max Verstappen in qualifying. Zandvoort September 2022. Credit: Alamy
Max Verstappen in qualifying. Zandvoort September 2022. Credit: Alamy

Multiple-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez has heaped praise on Max Verstappen for his “killer” instincts and his success in Formula 1.

The careers of Marquez and Verstappen have several similarities, in the sense of breaking many records for being the youngest to achieve multiple milestones in their respective motorsport categories, including being the youngest ever race winners, with Marquez now holding six MotoGP titles, but still aged only 29.

Verstappen has now taken two World Championships of his own in Formula 1, having earned the 2022 title by a comfortable margin and winning 15 races out of 22 in a record-breaking season.

With the two appearing alongside each other in a joint interview on MotoGP’s YouTube channel, it was only natural for comparisons to be made about their respective careers to date – with the Spaniard effusive in his compliments for the reigning Formula 1 champion.

“Max is ambitious and I like that. Then of course talented, but then a killer,” Marquez said of Verstappen when asked to describe him in three words. “You must be a killer in sports if you want to be the best.”

Then when asked what quality he respects most in the Dutchman, Marquez added: “The way to manage the pressure. I mean, a lot of riders are fast, they’re talented, many drivers are fast in the tests.

“But then in the race, in the moment, on the day, to manage all the pressure is the most difficult thing and he manages really well.”

Verstappen also weighed in on his love of motorcycle racing and seeing Marquez go about his work, though the MotoGP talent has been limited in his appearances since breaking his arm in Spain in the opening round of the 2020 season.

The Red Bull driver feels there are plenty of parallels to be drawn between Formula 1 and MotoGP, even if the machinery they race with is extremely different.

“I think at the end of the day, it’s more or less the same, right? Because it’s the same riding a bike,” Verstappen explained.

“You know, a lot of people at one point I think can do a good lap and ride quite well, but actually, a race weekend is very different to manage.

“Then the real strongest person really comes out and the most talented and for sure, over the last few years, Marc has been that. Of course the last two years have been a bit tricky with his injury but before that, I was waking up and waiting for the race and I think there was 99% chance that he was going to win it.

“It’s exciting to see. I love MotoGP as well and Marc is incredible, and I’m looking forward to seeing him back to full strength.”

Read more – Looking ahead to F1 2023: Plenty of reasons for excitement but also room for improvement

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