Spanish MotoGP rider Marc Marquez has been utterly dominant in the past few years, winning championship after championship. Ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Aragon, Marquez spoke about his idol, tennis star, Rafael Nadal.

He said, “One of the most important guys in Spain is Rafael Nadal. His character is also similar to mine, he looks calm but when he is in the match, he celebrates all the points in a good way. He understands really well when its important or not and Rafa Nadal is one of my references.”

When asked about whether he takes after Nadal in terms of mental fortitude instead of physical, Marquez clarified himself. He said that mental training is physical training and physical training is mental training. It means that everything is the same and together, and it is a good way to find the best compromise between the two.

Meanwhile, Nadal himself is a big fan of Marc Marquez and admitted that the 26-year old excites him.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

“What Marc Marquez did is amazing,” the Spaniard told journalist Ernest Riveras in 2014. “In his first year he won, and in his second he broke all records, which excited me. I have a lot of admiration for him.”

“Marc, in addition to being an immense talent, is a calm and has a peace of mind, that allows him to run and take risks without fear, knowing that he can win in every race. Mentally, this is a big advantage,”.

Admittedly, Nadal was also an admirer of Marquez’ teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Even though Lorenzo has been having a disappointing season alongside Marquez, Nadal feels that he has nothing to prove to anybody.

“He doesn’t need to prove anything, to anyone. He’s a champion. He had a difficult year, especially at the beginning, and he met an unstoppable Marquez. He will overcome this year and give even more, he’ll keep fighting for race wins and titles.”

Nadal even compared MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi to one of his great rivals, Roger Federer. According to Nadal, age doesn’t matter if you still enjoy what you’re doing and still feel fit and healthy.

Rafael Nadal