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MotoGP 2019: Just How Good Marc Marquez Really Is, and Honda Realizes It

To say that Marc Marquez’s results this year have been brilliant is an understatement. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest racers in MotoGP; and the greatest of his time.

One only need to look at the results of other Honda riders to realize just how good Marc Marquez really is. At 350 points, MM has already won the 2019 title and is 119 points clear of his closest rival Andrea Dovizioso, who is at 231 points. But the more important statistics are the mountainous gaps to the other Honda riders. Closest is the LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow at 113 points, followed by Takaaki Natagami at 74 points, then Jorge Lorenzo at shockingly dismal 23 points, and at last, Stefan Bradl at 16.

If you remove Marquez from the equation, you may as well assume that Honda is struggling to make a motorcycle capable of finishing in the top 10, let alone in the top 5.

That isn’t the case, though. The RCV is undoubtedly a competitive race bike, but it is hardly the best motorcycle on the grid. The fact that MM's teammate, a 5-time world champion himself, is embarrassingly low on the points table is a solid proof of this. Yes, it’s been a tough year for Lorenzo for other reasons as well. He’s had to skip four races out of 16 due to injury and he didn’t finish two races out of the 12 he raced in. And, Lorenzo’s best result in 2019 so far is 11th, in France. Also, he needs his motorcycle to be set up in a certain manner, especially for corner speed.

Not everyone can ride around the issues of a motorcycle, like Marquez can, and does. But in 2019, Marc Marquez not only won his 8th MotoGP title (6th in the premiere class), but also got HRC its Constructors trophy single-handedly, quite literally.

The man has a unique style of riding. No doubt he trains a lot, like the others, but he appears to go beyond his own capabilities, and the motorcycle’s, on a race track. His falls in practice sessions are usually looked at as “finding the bike’s limit”, most of which he is able to save. And in races, the way his RCV moves all over the track, especially under hard-braking, is enough to tell how much he is having to wrestle that motorcycle.

Marquez has been consistently outclassing his rivals. His currently incomparable talent aside, he is ferociously brave as well, and doesn’t shy away from putting himself in harm's way. Before he won this year’s title at the Buriram circuit in Thailand, he had a massive high-side crash in the first practice session. He had to be taken to the hospital where he was declared fit. He then not only finished all the remaining practice sessions, but took the title by winning the race.

He is young too. At 26 years, Marc Marquez has become the youngest rider in the sport’s history to achieve 8 world titles. At this age, we can say he is naturally programmed to take more risks. His mentality makes a lot of difference to his performances as well. Marquez is not prepared to settle for anything below first, unless he is sure that there is no other option left. Sure he has matured as a rider since his first year in the premiere class in 2013. But he is still as edgy as he is known to be.

Marquez says his motivation comes from everywhere, “You have to know how to reinvent yourself, learn from veterans like Valentino [Rossi], Jorge or Dovi and also from young riders, like Fabio or Viñales”. And more competition is coming. Fabio Quartararo, the Petronas Yamaha rider, is being considered as the one who shall fight among the front runners consistently in 2020. He has had some amazing dogfights with Marquez in the last few races.

With 2019 in his bag, Marc Marquez now looks forward to 2020. His target remains the same. To win.

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1 Comment

Sajal Chakraborty
Sajal Chakraborty
Oct 26, 2019

I never liked MM93 and probably would never ever. He is a spoilt Spanish brat, who as zero respect for the game, and zero contribution to the game. Riding talent aside, he's a reckless raccoon and DORNA is blatantly favouring him over other riders, probably in a bid to keep the interest in the game post, Rossi. Rossi fanboy or not, no one can deny the fact that he has been the biggest crowd-puller all these years, and his inevitable retirement on the horizon, they need a face to do the same. Unfortunately, MM93 doesn't command that enigma and DORNA is being an absolute jackass to bet on MM93. I was reading somewhere MM93 is being provided a different combination…

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