Australia’s five-time 500cc world champion Mick Doohan says MotoGP sensation Marc Marquez has taken the sport to a new level after dominating his second season in the premier class of the world championship.
The Spaniard has won 11 of 13 Grands Prix contested so far this season, and became the first rider to win 10 consecutive races since Doohan in 1997 when he took victory at Indianapolis in August, another milestone in a year that looks certain to end with a second consecutive world title.
Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Doohan says he’s happy for the 21-year-old Marquez, who has won 17 of his 31 MotoGP starts and finished on the podium in all but four races in his brief but brilliant career, to break the records he established 17 years ago.
“Marquez has really lifted the bar this year,” Doohan said.
“It’s difficult for the other guys to even keep him in sight, so if somebody’s going to beat my records, it’s great to see somebody who’s as likable and as charismatic as he is. He’s pushing himself that hard that each week that he’s just getting quicker.”
Doohan won 44 Grands Prix from 71 starts while annexing five straight 500cc titles from 1994-98, and based on his own experiences, believes Marquez is set for a similarly dominant run.
“When somebody’s on top of their game like that, it’s just difficult to make inroads into the gap they’ve got on you,” Doohan said.
“The other guys may be getting quicker, but the gap is staying the same. At some point in time the gap will close, but that could be a couple of years down the track.”
Doohan also spoke about Valentino Rossi’s resurgence this season, Dani Pedrosa’s future in the sport, and whether Aussie Moto3 rising star Jack Miller can handle a move straight to MotoGP next year.
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