For better or for worse Marc Marquez has taken centre stage in the MotoGP world championship since his winning debut in 2013: eight (nine) years of racing with 6 world titles, a third place (in the famous 2015), up to seventh position last year after the season he missed due to the serious injury he picked up at Jerez in 2020 with everything that ensued.
In these long, yet incredibly short years because they are full of emotions, Marquez has done more than enough to deserve the name of 'Magic' that belonged to Ayrton Senna.
In this period of time Marc has climbed onto the top step of the podium 59 times, for a total of 99 podiums, with just 10 third places, testifying to his incredible competitiveness.
He has clashed with Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi, Dovizioso, Vinales, as if to say the best of his generation, while Quartararo and Mir, Rins, Bagnaia and Binder were making their name and now the last of the brood, Martin and Bastianini.
Marquez in the race is synonymous with entertainment
His presence in the race has not only been synonymous with an opponent to beat, but also with sheer entertainment, with incredible overtaking moves and equally incredible saves. Something never seen in the world championship.
Then, in fact, there was the crash of 2020, which came after a super-spectacular Grand Prix in which he seemed to be toying with his opponents.
A fractured humerus, three operations, infection, his return, then the crash in training with resulting double vision interrupted a streak of totally fantastic successes. But it's always like this: when you get to absolute record numbers, something jams and stops you.
It’s a real shame because the public wants to have a 'serial winner' on the track, to idolize or execrate him. And now Marc Marquez is not there again, after the three victories in 2021 that had given hope for his full recovery.
Bad luck, it will be said, but bad luck for someone is always good luck for others. In this case his rivals who are now gearing up for two Grands Prix in quick succession where having Marquez on track almost meant racing for second place.
In Argentina, in fact, the Honda champion won in the year of the race’s return to the calendar, in 2014 (against Pedrosa), then in 2016 and 2019 (against Rossi twice), but he also ran into incredible setbacks like when in 2015, with his tyres deteriorating, he crashed falling into the trap of a lightning change of direction touching Valentino's rear tyre. And what about 2018, when he stalled the engine of his Honda on the starting grid, repositioned himself, then made his way through his opponents with incredible vehemence, until the incident that caused Rossi to crash after a further comeback caused by a ride-through?
MotoGP needs the last 'serial winner' of the decade
In short, Marquez will be missing at Rio Hondo, and probably, with only one result to his credit - fifth place in Qatar - out of three Grands Prix… which could become four if he were to miss the next GP of the Americas as well, his world championship challenge will also be missing. Unless…
Unless, on his return in Portugal, Marc has to admit that in his tenth season he is no longer the 'atomic ant' of the recent past and settle for a more conservative approach to racing. What his initial fifth place in Qatar made us hope for...
Having said that, the first MotoGP world championship after Valentino Rossi's retirement quite simply cannot also be the first season without the two stars of the series. It is true that Mir and Quartararo are credible substitutes and excellent riders and probably future great champions, but it would be better to see them fight against the two guys who dominated the premier class of motorcycling until 2020.
It might be interesting to have a different winner at each Grand Prix, but we are of the opinion that the sport needs new faces, as long as they are able to knock the serial winner off the pedestal. Who, for the moment, is still Marc Marquez.