If you leave the championship as winner with 67 points ahead of your first opponent, you clearly must have done something right. It’s even more significant, if this pursuer goes by the name of Valentino Rossi. But for the remaining MotoGP world champion Marc Márquez, all this seems to be a nice side effect besides a good bit of fun.
Ever since his arrival in the premiere class of motorcycle racing in 2013, the number 93 starts to appear more and more often on the grandstands. But it’s not only for his exceptional performances on the track, that he gains more fans at every given sunday. Due to his outgoing attitude and the fact, that he approaches fans and media with his trademark wide smile, he quickly became one of the most popular riders in the MotoGP paddock.
The first race of the season in Qatar ended with a special win for Márquez, his first one there in the MotoGP class. He lost the previous one, his first MotoGP race ever, to none less than Valentino Rossi. The rookie fought hard, but ultimately the veteran could prevail.
Rossi returned, after two years of struggling with Ducati, to the podium behind his teammate Lorenzo, with Márquez completing the podium. By that, the rookie made the whole world of MotoGP look at him.
Coming back to Qatar a year later, nobody was looking at a rookie anymore, but at their current world champion. As many of the fans hoped, the battle between Márquez and Rossi went into round two. With Lorenzo being out of the fight, the two fought for the victory as hard as the previous year.
But this time the italian maestro couldn’t keep up with the by now more experienced young spaniard. His first win in 2014 was followed by a series of ten wins in a row, until his teammate Dani Pedrosa came along and ended this row in Brno.
If a rider dominates the field as much as Márquez did, various speculations about him winning all races in a season appear quickly. Of course same happened to the Repsol Honda rider, after he finished the first races more or less perfect.
But even the most talented riders make mistakes. Márquez had to learn this in Brno, where he wasn’t able to keep up with his teammate, Lorenzo and Rossi. It was the first time in his MotoGP career, that a podium was completed without the current world champion.
It wasn’t the last one, though.
Mistakes kept coming more often thoughout the season, the biggest one being the Australian Grand Prix. Márquez still had to settle an outstanding score with the Phillip Island track, since he got black flagged there last season. With a lead of almost four seconds Márquez crashed and left the way up open for Valentino Rossi to reach the top of the podium.
Also the Aragón Grand Prix surely won’t be the most memorable one for Marc Márquez. The otherwise pleasant weather in the north of spain had his own ideas about the circumstances for the race. Rain affected the race, but whereas Jorge Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaró changed their bikes just in time, Márquez decided to take the risk of continuing with slicks. However, this time the gamble didn’t worked out. Few laps after his teammate, also the younger spaniard crashed due to the fact that his tires weren’t working in the rain.
As usual Márquez left the incident without further injuries and continued the race to finally reach the 15th position. This saved him at least one point for the championship standings, even through no one in the field could really threaten him by then. With his massive amount of points ahead of his rivals, Márquez could smile even after a lost race.
The biggest reason to flash his trademark smile became reality at Motegi. As the first rider in history Márquez succeeded to win the world champion title at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan. Whether it was Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi or Mick Doohan, none of them was able to achieve this triumph at this track, which is a property of Honda.
This for sure saved him a special place in the history of the proud manufacturer. Understandably fans and media speculate about the way Márquez rides his bike. Some said he had more luck than talent, when he appeared in the MotoGP class, but by now all those voices should have disappeared. For sure luck is with him; as proven by his many crashes.
Looking closely, it’s remarkable, that he often crashes in training sessions, meaning he tries to find the limit he can’t overcome. If that limit is a given surely is questionable, but nevertheless he benefits from this informations, when it getting serious on sunday afternoon.
What’s more, compared to the crashes by his teammate Dani Pedrosa, Márquez usually leaves the incident without further issues. He has always been able to compete and mainly finish any race, whereas Pedrosa has more struggle to do so.
If the veteran crashes, it usually comes with a further injury, as for example at the Sachsenring or the Aragón Grand Prix in 2013. Second crash cost him his hopes for the world champion title.
But besides luck, there are other factors that make Marc Márquez an outstanding rider. An important part surely is his self-confidence, that natually grows with every race he wins and every record he breaks.
It seems that the gossip about all the records he continues to break never abates. And as it is with all gossip, opinions are divided. Some people compared Márquez with living legend Mick Doohan, after he theoretically broke his record of twelve wins in one season at the saison finale at Valencia in 2014.
Others insisted that both riders can’t be compared, since the aussie had less races to compete in. This means that, in percent, Doohan’s record is still unbeaten.
Also, with few exceptions, his impulsive way of handling his bike always worked out well, whether it’s free practice, qualifying or the race itself. Watching him race sometimes looks like he’s not thinking about his riding at all, but then again, is it possible to become a two time world champ without thinking at all?
Or is it this obviously exceptional way of thinking and planning a race that makes him a champion? Whatever his secret may be, nobody except Márquez will ever know.
In fact, nobody ever mentioned, that it could only be for the sake of his factory Honda, that he dominates the class as much as he does. Some time ago, someone else did the same and was constantly confronted with this reproach.
This someone is none other than Valentino Rossi, who had to fight back the allegations by journalists and colleagues. that he was only winning because his Honda couldn’t be beaten by any other bike anyway. For Rossi it ended with his unexpected move to Yamaha.
Until now it remains unclear, if Márquez will be able to win the championship on a different bike than his factory Honda. If he follows the path of his idol Valentino Rossi, he surely wants to find out someday, if he’s able to be crowned world champion with a different team behind him.