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Although he is only 28 years old, Marc Marquez is widely regarded as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. The stats certainly back that up with eight world titles, 82 wins and 134 podiums to his name, with the last two numbers being the fourth and sixth highest of all time, respectively. And since he missed the entire 2020 season, those numbers could have been even better.
But it’s not just the wins and podiums that stand out; it’s the way he’s achieved them that sets him apart from everyone else, especially in the MotoGP class, where he’s won six of the eight available titles since 2013. The way he rides his Repsol Honda RC213V is simply breathtaking, seemingly literally at every turn.
This has been his undoing many times in the past, especially in practice and qualifying, but where a normal rider would have disappeared into the gravel, Marquez has performed incredible feats to always come back from disaster – except most recently in Jerez year, where he suffered a broken arm that kept him out for the season but could have also ended his illustrious career.
One of only four riders to have won world championships in three different categories (the others being Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Valentino Rossi), no comeback was more anticipated in the MotoGP world than for him to make his 14th appearance in the world Championship arena in 2021 we look at some of his finest moments – picking ten is no easy task as there were so many!!!

2008 – British Grand Prix, Donington Park

It was a baby-faced Marquez (has that changed?!) who made his first appearance in the World Championship in 2008, competing in the 125cc class on a Repsol-backed KTM with the Spanish petroleum giant already behind him, which was an early indication of the talent he possessed.
The number 93 machine and its rider had a steady start to their season, but points were scored at the fourth round in China, and a first top ten result came just three rounds later in Catalunya. However, the first undoubted sign of what lay ahead came a round later at Donington Park.
Marquez, riding at the Leicestershire venue for the first time, qualified seventh and while Scott Redding took the win – his first in the class and at the time the youngest in GP history – Marquez took his first GP podium in third. Two more top-six finishes followed and he ended his first World Championship year in a solid 13th place overall.

Marc Marquez

2010 – Italian Grand Prix, Mugello

After improving to eighth in 2009, Marquez moved to Derbi in 2010 and didn’t have to wait long for his first Grand Prix win. The then 17-year-old finished sixth in qualifying but battled for victory from the start in the Tuscan hills of Mugello.
In fact, it was a typical 125cc race with four riders – Marquez, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro and Nicolas Terol – holding their own at the front of the field. Smith and Marquez led for the most part across the finish line, but it was still anyone’s game on the 20th and final lap.
Marquez, however, had led from lap 18 and continued to do so on the final lap and especially on the long straight to the checkered flag. His winning margin was just 0.039 seconds, with only 0.161 seconds covering the top 4! But it sparked a winning habit with his race tactics for the rest of the season, showing calm and maturity for the whole task ahead, no easy task in the hectic world of 125s.

2010 – Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril.

After his first GP win, Marquez promptly went on to win the next four, becoming the first rider since Rossi in 1997 to win five 125cc races in a row. Low finishes at the Czech Republic and U.S. races, however, dropped him from first to third overall, but he responded in excellent fashion, winning five of the next races.
His victory at Estoril, the penultimate round of the 17-race calendar, stood out not only for his skill but also for his determination. The race was red-flagged when Marquez finished second behind main championship rival Terol, but when Marquez returned to the grid for the second race, Marquez crashed on the practice lap and had to return to the pits for hasty repairs.
He didn’t make it out of the pit lane in time and had to start the race from the back of the grid. Undeterred, he simply raced through the field and overtook the entire 30-strong field to win the race and extend his lead ahead of the final race in Valencia. With fourth place, he clinched his first world title, his lead over Terol eventually amounting to 14 points

2011 – Australian Grand Prix, Phillip Island

After winning the 125cc world title, Marquez immediately moved up to the Moto2 category in 2011, riding for the one-man Monlau Competition team, once again led by former world champion Emilio Alzamora and once again largely funded by Repsol.
Two retirements and a 21st place finish in the first three rounds seemed to have slowed his rapid rise, but the 18-year-old quickly dispelled that myth and in the next 11 rounds he took seven wins and four seconds to close the gap on championship leader Stefan Bradl from 82 points to just six!
Finishing second in Malaysia, he was able to take the championship lead for the first time, but at Phillip Island, Australia, he was found guilty of irresponsible driving in qualifying and subsequently received a one-minute penalty on his qualifying time. This meant he had to start the race again from the back of the grid, but he once again fought his way through the field and this time finished the race in third place.

Marc Marquez at MotoGP

2012 – Valencia Grand Prix, Valencia

Despite rumours linking him to the MotoGP class, Marquez stayed in Moto2 in 2012, where he was involved in a year-long battle for the title with compatriot Pol Espargaro, who ironically is his teammate in 2021.
Eight wins came before the race at Phillip Island, Australia, and third place allowed him to take his second world title with one round to go and before his highly anticipated move to Repsol Honda and MotoGP in 2013.
His ninth and final win of the season came at the final race in Valencia, where he had to start from 33rd on the grid. His race performance saw him pass an astonishing 20 riders in the first three corners alone and he won the race by 1.2 seconds to complete one of the best comebacks of all time. His nine wins this season remain the highest ever in the Moto2 class.

2013 – American Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas.

With two world titles in three years, Marquez made the expected move to MotoGP and the Repsol Honda team in 2013, although he had big boots to fill when he replaced the retiring Casey Stoner, the Australian who had won the title for the team in 2011.
From the beginning, however, Marquez gave a dazzling display of talent, aggression and confidence, but it was not without problems, as he crashed no less than 15 times, fortunately escaping injury each time.
This problem has remained a feature of his career since then, but back in 2013, and after finishing third in the opening race in Qatar, he took pole for the second round at the Circuit of Americas, the youngest rider ever to achieve such a feat. He took the win from teammate Dani Pedrosa and also became the youngest race winner ever in the class at the age of 20 years and 63 days.
Records would continue to fall and by the end of the season, Marquez had six wins, six seconds and four thirds to his credit and took the title by four points over Jorge Lorenzo. It made him the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion and the first since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win on his debut.

2014 – Catalunya Grand Prix, Catalonia.

If 2013 was good for Marquez, 2014 was even better; In fact, the first half of the season was simply sensational – ten starts, ten wins! It led to many people asking if he could go through the season unbeaten, but although that didn’t happen, he easily won the world title for the second year in a row.
The margin was much wider this time as he beat Rossi by a commanding 67 points to take the title with three rounds to go, and more records were broken, including the ten straight wins early in the season and a year total of 13, surpassing the previous best-of-12 set by Mick Doohan.
One of the highlights was his home GP at Catalunya, where he went head-to-head with Rossi and teammate Dani Pedrosa in the 25 laps. It looked like the latter would come out on top, but an exciting and daring overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap gave Marquez the win. And more history was made with brother Alex’s victory in Moto3 as they became the first brothers to win a Grand Prix on the same day.

2017 – Valencia Grand Prix, Valencia

Marquez wasn’t quite as dominant over the next couple of seasons, handing his title to Jorge Lorenzo in 2015 before reclaiming it in 2016, and although his win tally didn’t reach double digits in 2017, the Honda wasn’t as good in recent seasons. a fourth MotoGP crown was added to his ever-growing collection.
Meanwhile, Marquez was as well known for his miraculous front-end slides and parries as he was for his victories, somehow regularly bringing the bike back from beyond the abyss when many would have been on the ground. Some of his lean angles had never been seen before and had to be seen to be believed!
Nowhere was this more evident than at the season finale in Valencia, where he needed five points to beat Andrea Dovizioso for the title. In typical Marquez fashion, 11th place was never in the equation and it was all about winning from the start.
He was in second place for most of the race, trailing Johann Zarco, but went to the front with seven laps to go, but had a monumental slide on the next lap when he flipped into high-speed turn one. The front end buckled and slid seemingly forever as he used his elbow and slid steadily across the asphalt to pick the bike back up and avoid a crash.
It dropped him down the order, but he regrouped for third place and another podium, but it was definitely a crash that never happened. 27 crashes during the season, however, further underscored the knife-edge he was constantly on, whether in free practice, qualifying or in a race situation.

2019 – German Grand Prix, Sachsenring

Nowhere did Marquez excel more than at the super-tight Sachsenring in Germany, where the counter-clockwise layout mirrors his preferred left-handed dirt track practice.
At 2.2 miles, the Sachsenring is the shortest track on the GP calendar, but Marquez enjoyed it from the start to score his first win of his 2010 125cc World Championship season.
From that moment on, he never looked back for two more wins in 2011 and 2012, this time on the Suter in Moto 2. It was a similar story in MotoGP, where an astonishing six consecutive victories were achieved between 2013 and 2018.
He wasn’t done there either and dominated the action in 2019, taking pole position and then leading the entire race from the lights to the checkered flag. It was his tenth consecutive victory at this venue and quite simply a remarkable achievement.

Marc Marquez at MotoGP

2019 – Thai Grand Prix, Buriram

Marquez failed to finish only one of the 19 races in 2019 and in the other 18 he not only finished on the podium in all of them (the most podiums ever in a season), he finished either first or second – 12 wins and six the second place finishes.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, and Marquez had a significant weakness in his shoulder that kept dislocating, despite having surgery on the problematic joint last winter. A huge high sider in Thailand didn’t damage his shoulder but shattered and injured him elsewhere, but he still managed to win.
Two rounds later in Malaysia he had another huge high sider in practice, this time injuring his other shoulder. He showed tremendous resilience again, finishing second and ending the season with a win in Valencia.
It all meant he took the MotoGP title again – his fourth in a row and his sixth overall – with four rounds to go and a record win total of 420 points and a record lead at the end of the year a staggering 151 points!
Let’s hope that when he returns, hopefully in Portimao in April, he demonstrates the turn of speed and daring to which we have all become so accustomed.

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