Photo of the Week: Hindsight Is Always 20/20

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Marc Marquez says he is fully recovered from his crash at Sepang which left him dizzy and with double vision, and also forced him to sit out the penultimate round, while trailing rival Stefan Bradl by only three points. According to our friends at MotoMatters, Marquez says he is “still practicing the rehabilitation movements in [his] eye, but just because [he] was told to do so by doctors.” Otherwise he feels he is fit and ready to go.

Turning 19 in February, Marquez’s on-track manner has made it plain for years that he is a tough kid and very talented on a motorbike. He is Repsol’s next golden boy, lined up to replace Dani Pedrosa as its premier face in MotoGP, and by the age of 18 he has already shown us all that he is a serious and dedicated professional.

It is easy to forget that Marquez and many of his 125cc and Moto2 colleagues are contesting a very dangers sport at its highest level, while also dealing with everything else that goes along with adolescence and young adulthood. A friend remarked a few years ago as we worked in an active 125cc pit lane that motorcycle racing truly is a sport for children.

There are so many young, fresh faces behind the helmets that it can be shocking if you stop to think about it. For each one who makes it to the show, there are thousands with similar dreams who don’t have the talent or good fortune to progress beyond their local series. Even more compelling is the thought that the young GP riders didn’t just recently start racing — they started when they were six, five, or four-years-old.

When I was 18-years-old, I was trying to figure out a lot of things that had mainly to do with how to get along in a world I didn’t understand, but I wasn’t also contesting a world championship in a sport where I was spending time on two wheels at close to 200 mph on a regular basis. I wasn’t dealing with the media, or concerned about promotion deals and PR events, and certainly no adults had pinned their own financial plans on my abilities.

But a lot is asked of kids like Marc Marquez, and as I watch his amazing riding, I try to remember that at 19-years -old he is racing a Moto2 bike at the limit, while handling everything else that goes along with the business of racing motorcycles. His speed on track is only part of how impressive he is as a young man.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved