This week has seen the launch of a new behind-the-scenes documentary series on six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez.
Amazon Prime Video’s cameras travelled with the Repsol Honda rider not only to every round of the 2022 season but also joined him in the USA as he underwent yet another surgery in an attempt to conclusively fix the damage that began with the broken arm he suffered at Jerez in 2020.
Produced by Marquez himself (and brother Alex) in collaboration with Amazon and Red Bull TV, Marc Marquez: All In isn’t a continuation of the ill-fated MotoGP Unlimited series but rather something different and more personal, as the Spaniard opens up on camera for perhaps the first time ever to tell the story of just how much these past three years have impacted him personally as well as professionally.
Despite some apparent teething troubles around its release, with puzzling region-to-region variance in terms of when and in what form the series was made available, the end product is very much worth watching, whether you love him or hate Marquez – and the truly behind-the-scenes nature of it means that even the most diehard MotoGP fan will learn a thing or two as they get a peek under the curtain at his life (even if that peek is very controlled).
Rossi feud isn’t likely to ever be forgiven
Many years ago, in the aftermath of the now-infamous Sepang clash between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi, AMA Supercross legend Chad Reed hinted to me in an interview that the feud between the pair dated to earlier in the year and a particularly fiery trip to Rossi’s ranch after the Misano race, where the two of them went at it like cats and dogs in an attempt to steal the flat track’s lap record.
Well, we know now that that is very much the case, with Marquez quick to establish that day as the point where the relationship between the two started to go rapidly downhill – down so far that it’s very clear from his words that he does not see the feud as repairable.
Up until this point, Marquez had actually remained largely silent on the whole drama that preceded and followed the infamous events of the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix, but we quickly gain some insight as the documentary takes him back to relive it.
Actually instructed at the time by the people around him to say nothing (a tactic in response to Rossi’s media influence back then), it’s good to hear Marquez and those around him finally open up on the events – even if there’s not a huge amount that we actually learn from it beyond just how deep the bitterness runs. – Simon Patterson
Past years took a toll and retirement really was close
It’s not exactly new information that the past few seasons have been tough on Marquez: he’s spent most of it wearing the pain of his arm injury very plainly on his face.
What perhaps is new, though, is discovering just how much of a toll the impact of everything combined took on Marquez.
Admitting to everything from living in constant pain and needing to be on a regular diet of painkillers to the fact that there came a point where he was unable to open social media and face the barrage of criticism coming his way, it’s a surprisingly open moment from a rider who is normally one of the sport’s most guarded.
The real shock, however, is that amid lobbying from close family, he was even considering just walking away from MotoGP altogether. The documentary makes it extremely clear at several points that Marquez abandoning his ambitions to become the most successful racer of all time and essentially ending his career so close to its absolute height was a genuine possibility.
Why? Because until the success of his final operation in summer 2022, two years on from his Jerez crash, Marquez was almost certain that his winning ways were behind him. Proof of just how important that final operation proved to be. – SP
How Marquez wants to be perceived
In one episode, Marquez admits he is an “asshole” on track. In another, he says he is the same off-track as he is on track.
But that’s clearly not the impression he wants to convey. A documentary part-produced by the subject is only going to be so revealing in terms of who they are – but, on a meta level, it is extremely revealing in who they want to be.
Marquez comes across well when shown talking to others. He comes across very well with his family. As outlined above, he often looks vulnerable. In other instances, he is routinely charming and witty. And it feels like he tries to shy away from indulging too openly in the luxuries his salary has afforded him, even when those luxuries are so plainly on display.
He wants to come off as just “normal” in every day life, and on that front the documentary succeeds. But all the same he carries his on-track ruthlessness as almost a badge of pride. “Make your team-mate’s life impossible if you can” is one of the principles he openly subscribes to.
But that dichotomy is compelling, as is the fact that Marquez – much like someone like Michael Jordan, whose The Last Dance documentary is surely an inspiration – can hold a grudge.
The Rossi thing makes that clear while, in one other example, a fellow MotoGP rider is chastised for not coming to see him after the surgery announcement.
And, in another, Marquez tells an anecdote about a 2013 pre-season confrontation between himself and Honda MotoGP tech chief Takeo Yokoyama. Yokoyama has been replaced in the MotoGP set-up this very off-season – and the fact that, even in light of that, the (very interesting!) anecdote did not hit the cutting room floor is telling. – Valentin Khorounzhiy
Bridges long repaired with Lorenzo and Pedrosa
Former team-mates and title rivals of Marquez’s, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa are both interviewed. That fact alone shows that whatever past tensions – tensions the documentary explores but unsurprisingly not in as much depth as the Rossi feud – were there have been healed by time.
Still, Lorenzo in particular delivers some fairly critical assessments. And, on the flipside, Marquez makes it clear that his and Pedrosa’s relationship healed right when he started dominating a rider who he nonetheless clearly retains a certain reverence for.
Another prominent interviewee is now ex-manager Emilio Alzamora, already gone from the Marquez camp by the time he sat down to speak to the doc. Alzamora’s words indicate there are certain things being left unspoken – “other people” split them up, he says, but doesn’t elaborate, while Marquez’s version of events includes no outside interference. – VK
Honda under pressure
This is another one of those things that is maybe more interesting on the meta level – not just what’s being said privately, but the fact that it’s being made public in a Marquez-produced documentary.
Remember his post-surgery return to the paddock last year, an event that The Race dubbed a visit by ‘Supervisor Marquez’? The documentary only strengthens that perception. Marquez heads into a meeting with Honda that Red Bull Ring weekend specifically intent to deliver some hard truths and drive home how much he’s suffered to get in a position to win again. And, though the documentary doesn’t show said meeting, it then has Marquez relay its contents on a jet ride back home.
Late that same episode, there’s a memorable Ferrari F1 driver Carlos Sainz cameo as they watch a World Cup game together, and Marquez provides to Sainz a pretty scathing assessment of the equipment Honda brought for him to try in the post-season Valencia test.
There is no indication at any point the manufacturer isn’t treating him right – quite the contrary. But clearly, that alone won’t cut it. And maybe this doc is as close as Marquez will come to outright telling Honda ‘shape up or lose me’. – VK
The surprising real star
Marc Marquez is the focal point of the series. Its heart and soul, however, might just be brother Alex.
It is obviously no revelation that the Marquez brothers are close – but just how close, and how much Marc, for all his successes and his certain brand of stoicism, leans on Alex really shines through.
If you’re on the fence about Marc, his interactions with Alex in this series will make you like him more. If you’re a Marc fan already, those same interactions will give you a whole extra appreciation for Alex. – VK