Among Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, and Comfort Zone of Honda

Marc Marquez has ordained himself as the 2019 MotoGP world champion. The result was achieved by the Spanish rider after winning the Thailand MotoGP race on Sunday (6/10/2019) yesterday.

The 2019 MotoGP world champion was the eighth world title won by Marquez throughout his career, six of them in the first class. That means, Marquez only needs one more title to match the acquisition of a live legend from the Italian MotoGP who is still actively racing until now, Valentino Rossi.

Rossi has collected nine times world champion, seven of them in the first class. Although they still had the chance to meet and duel on the track, Rossi and Marquez actually reached their heyday in a different era.

Rossi was the ruler of the 2000s. He last won the world title in 2009. As Marquez grew older and entered in 2013, Rossi never again tasted the world champion until he was 40 years old this year. Meanwhile, Marquez was the ruler of the 2010 era.

Marquez’s achievement in winning the eighth world champion this year is arguably extraordinary. Because, he did it when he was just 26 years old.

That’s what had become Rossi’s attention before the MotoGP of Thailand. Rossi himself could only win his eighth world title when he was 29 years old. “It seems like this year Marquez and Honda have a tremendous momentum, similar to the 2014 season when they won 10 consecutive races,” Rossi was quoted as saying by Tuttomoriweb. “I don’t know if he has reached the limit, because he is young and can even grow,” Rossi said.

Rossi’s Achievements that Marquez Has Not Achieved

Although his record was almost equaled and even defeated by Marquez, there is actually one achievement of Rossi that Marquez has not been able to get until now. It is to win champions in different manufacturers.

Marquez had never tasted racing on a motorcycle other than Honda. When promotoed to the main class in 2013, Marquez immediately joined Repsol Honda, the strongest manufacturer team in MotoGP. The team he has been defended until now.

That is different from Rossi. Rossi began his career in the first class on the satellite team, Nastro Azzurro Honda in 2000. At that time, the main class was still using a 500cc 2-engine motor. Unlike Marquez who was able to immediately win the world title in the first year, Rossi won the world title in the first class in the second year during the 2001 season.

But incredibly, Rossi was able to win 11 series from a total of 16 races that year with the satellite team. Rossi even recorded as the last satellite team racer who was able to become world champion.

He defeated the more senior factory team riders, such as Alex Crivile (Repsol Honda), Max Biaggi (Marlboro Yamaha), or Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Suzuki). That pretension led him to join Repsol Honda in the 2002 season.

At that time, the main class was already using a 4 stroke engine. In that year, Rossi was again able to win 11 races from 16 series competed. Rossi has only two seasons to feel the comfort zone at Repsol Honda.

After winning the 2003 world title, he left for Yamaha. At Yamaha, Rossi continued to dominate in the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Having lost the title for two consecutive seasons, Rossi resumed his dominance in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In 2011, Rossi had moved to Ducati but failed. He finally returned to Yamaha after two seasons.

How about Marquez?

Until now, Marquez has never once expressed his desire to look for new challenges, leaving the Repsol Honda comfort zone as Rossi had done. However, a number of parties have spoken out about this.

Ducati racer Andrea Dovizioso claimed to be curious about Marc Marquez’s ability to strengthen other teams. “Everybody is curious to know it (Marquez moved team). But now it is impossible to find out,” Dovi said in an interview with CNNIndonesia, ahead of the Thai MotoGP.

Meanwhile, MotoGP observers, Neil Hodgson, believes Marquez is obsessed with beating Rossi’s record. Therefore, he will not move the team as long as he hasn’t.

Hodgson assessed that Marquez might just want to leave Honda by 2021, even if it beats Rossi’s record. “He will have nine world titles, the same as Rossi’s cut. So I think he will stay at Honda because he will continue to use motorbikes and be in a team that he knows is trying to win ten world titles and beat Rossi,” Hodgson told Daily Star, last August.

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