He’s like one of the really irritating kids at school who was so effortlessly brilliant at everything. And his ability to adapt, evolve to suit and master his environment is incredible. He’s had a lot to deal with in his 23 years, not least having an epic and very public fallout with his childhood hero, Valentino Rossi, at the tail end of last season. But, as ever, he learned to cope with everything thrown at him. On top of the emotional reverberations of 2015, he then had to make an awkward Honda RCV comply with his wishes.
Not outwardly a workman who blames his tools, Marquez fought incredibly hard to find a way. At the start of the year when fellow Honda riders were crashing and messing about mid-pack, Marquez was winning and finishing on the podium round after round.
His ability to ride around issues and to solve those issues as the season unfolded have been major factors in him lifting his fifth world title in 2016. And his new-found maturity as a person and a rider has undoubtedly helped, too. The far more measured approach has seen him only finish outside the top four twice so far this year – and one of those was a fifth. And he’s finished every single race.
This consistency and understanding that to finish first, first you have to finish may have come from painful lessons learnt last year. And it oh-so-nearly worked for Valentino Rossi in 2015 after regular top three results took him close to his tenth crown. That won’t have been lost on the wily Spaniard.
While he stays with Honda and while he continues to evolve and adapt as a top-level rider and thinker, he looks likely to add many more world titles to his already astounding CV.
Yes, he’s ridden his luck at times over his four years in MotoGP, walking away from some incredibly high-speed crashes, but his physical and mental robustness underline a terrific talent that will not be dulled by controversy or confrontation.