They sometimes return: Marquez, Bagnaia and Martin at the crossroads of a thrilling story

The cover photo is from 2018, the year when all three stars of this world championship won in the three categories: MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3. Now, after four years of absence, Pecco and Jorge reunite with Marc, with the promise to challenge each other again as equals next year.  

: They sometimes return: Marquez, Bagnaia and Martin at the crossroads of a thrilling story

We often discuss this: the policy young Ducati riders pursue pays off. And our own Carlo Pernat never forgets to mention it.

We are, however, talking about former youngsters because, in the current MotoGP line up, the only first-timer, born in 2004, is Pedro Acosta, while Fermin Aldeguer, who is a year younger, will be getting on board next year.

Our own Tiziano Niero pointed this out to us, and added an important detail: when Marc was Bagnaia's and Bastianini's age, he had already won his eight world championships.

The following are the years our MotoGP stars were born:

Marquez 1993
Bagnaia 1997
Bastianini 1997
Martin 1998
Morbidelli 1994
Bezzecchi 1998
Quartararo 1999
Vinales 1995
Acosta 2004
Aldeguer 2005

They're all mature riders. And it's also true that no rider over the age of 30 has ever won a MotoGP title again. Valentino Rossi reached his 9th win in 2009. We can definitely then say that Marquez - not counting his famous fall  in Jerez in 2020 - has surely wasted his best seasons.

Is he not what he used to be? Probably. Time passes for everyone. However, judging by the beginning of this season, we should be glad that the MotoGP has, once again, in its ranks the rider who, until that fateful season, had set the bar at a remarkable height.

Just imagine tennis without Novak Djokovic for the past four years: would Jannik Sinner 's results be just as good? After all, it's been since 2020 onwards that the winners of these years, Mir, Quartararo and Bagnaia, have been waiting to be able to measure themselves against Marquez. The only regret, at the moment, is that the Honda rider and the Yamaha rider aren't able to demonstrate their capabilities, given Ducati's current domination.

Let's add that it is a great opportunity for everyone to have him on the track, knowing for the most part that - as the parable of Valentino Rossi has shown -having the opportunity to be able to enjoy the riding of an outstanding rider is fantastic, in the first place, for the riders who may have the chance to beat him. Incidentally, riders who didn't get that opportunity during his best years. And also given the fact that Marc threw them a gauntlet in 2025, when he declared that - once was at the helm of a MotoGP bike upgraded to the latest version - he'd be racing for a 9th  world title. It's not like he's not going to try this year anyway, right?

Another consideration. Martin is leading the championship with 129 points, but the one who collected more in the last two GPs was Marquez. Between Jerez and Le Mans, the rider from Cervera scored 53, while Martin rached 49 and Bagnaia 46.

Marc is also the only unofficial rider at the top of the standings. Tied with him is Bastianini (Ducati GP24), then Vinales (RS-GP 24), Acosta (KMT RC16 24), Binder (KMT RC16 24), and Espargaro (RS-GP 24). The best of the "others" is Fabio di Giannantonio (who, by the way, is one of the youngest) with 42 points  under.

As we all know, a private rider has never won the title in the premier class, let alone with a bike from the year before. Saying that Martin tried to last year isn't correct either because. even if Pramac is a satellite team, it's also undeniable that he gets official treatment. Not to mention that he has a contract with Ducati.

Let's say that the situation that comes closest is that of Valentino Rossi who, in 2000, finished behind Roberts Jr with the HRC Honda inherited from Mick Doohan and with his entire team.

Do the above considerations make us a Marquez fan? No. It's just our job as reporters to remember, when faced with a situation, facts and figures that can best give an explanation. Neither the speed nor the track record of any of the other riders competing in the 2024 World Championship is questioned here. We're looking at them all from the same perspective.

By the way, as my friend Francesco Raucci, a physiotherapist and great fan, suggested to me: Yamaha called back Valentino Rossi in 2013 alongside Jorge Lorenzo. He was 34 years old and, at the first race in Qatar, he finished second, right behind Jorge (and ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa).

In short, they sometimes return. And, in our opinion, the fact that it's the title of a collection of 20 short stories (like 20 are the Grand Prixs of the Championship) by Master Stephen King, bodes well for more decisively thrilling races!

 

Translated by Leila Myftija

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