Marc Marquez is an incredibly talented motorcycle racer, both on asphalt and in the dirt. His skills on the blacktop are well known by now, but his speed in the dirt opened some eyes as he demonstrated during the Superprestigio, an invitational dirt track event revived by Marquez to have a little fun in the off season and showcase the skills of some of the top riders in the world.
Marquez handily won the Superprestigio class for grand prix racers, while the Open class, comprised of non GP riders, was won by that class’ most notable entry: American Brad Baker, the reigning AMA Grand National Champion.
Naturally, the stage was set for a grudge match between Marquez and Baker in the 10-lap Superfinal. Other riders in the Superfinal included Tito Rabat, Kenny Noyes, Aleix Espargaro, Jose Pedro Gomez, Merle Scherb, and Dani Ribalta, but honestly, all of them took a backseat to the two main protagonists.
Marquez took off to an early lead, using wide lines and flailing his Honda completely sideways at every opportunity to keep the rest at bay. Meanwhile, Baker looked for traction on the high line, keeping Marquez honest while the two separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
Baker found a chance for the lead as he squared off a corner, got better drive, and took the inside line away from Marquez, but the Spaniard was quick to retaliate for fear of Baker running away. The two would swap positions repeatedly, until Baker lunged for the inside line only a few laps from the end. Baker and Marquez collided, with the latter falling to the ground and the former looking over his shoulder to see if Marquez was uninjured. He was, but by the time he remounted, Baker had the lead comfortably in hand. Marquez would finish in eight (last) place. Tito Rabat and American-living-in-Spain Kenny Noyes rounded out the podium.
The two main stars of the show, Marquez and Baker, exchanged high-fives after the race and really enjoyed the event.
“I feel sorry for having that contact with Marquez in the Superfinal, it’s been a great hand-to-hand [fight] and I’d love to repeat this experience back home and invite Marc to the Half Mile next year,” said Baker.
Meanwhile, Marquez said, “I’m extremely happy with this show. The fans have discovered Dirt Track in Spain and they have really enjoyed it – as we did! Nice fight with Baker. I’ve learned a lot of things. Hope to see this show back here next year!”
You can catch the Superfinal in the video below.