The record books are at the mercy of Marc Marquez as MotoGP’s shooting star continues his seemingly unstoppable rise to the top of the sport.
Marquez, 21, is zooming towards becoming the next…. well, the next Marc Marquez.
Already MotoGP’s youngest ever world champion – a crown he took from American ace Freddie Spencer – Marquez continues to attack the benchmarks set by the greats of bike racing.
With eight premier class wins from his first 20 starts in MotoGP, Marquez is nudging the benchmarks set by British star John Surtees and America’s triple world champion Kenny Roberts.
Surtees remains the only man to win both the F1 driver’s championship and MotoGP world titles.
Surtees (MV Agusta) won 10 races and Roberts (Yamaha) 9 from their first 20 starts in the MotoGP/500cc championship.
Wins after 20 MotoGP/500cc Grands Prix:
John Surtees: 10
Kenny Roberts: 9
Marc Marquez: 8
Geoff Duke: 8
Freddie Spencer: 7
In Sunday’s Argentine Grand Prix, Marquez is aiming to become the first rider since Valentino Rossi in 2001 to win the opening three races of the season.
Marquez’s breathtaking start to his world title defense with victories in Qatar and Texas has taken him to another level, according to 1993 500cc world champion and Suzuki icon Kevin Schwantz.
“I cannot think of anyone to compare him to right now. He will probably only end up being compared to Marc Marquez,” Schwantz said.
“He is just getting faster and nothing fazes him and, until he does something that hurts him, nothing will faze him. ”
Marquez has won the opening two races of the season from pole position, a feat not achieved since 1995 when Aussie great Mick Doohan was the star of Repsol Honda factory team.
Doohan won seven races in 1995 on the way to his second world title.
In advance of Sunday’s third race of 2104 Marquez simply said: “I will be looking to continue with the same momentum from the first two races of the season.”
But the first 20 grands prix of a riders career are not always a definitive guide to what lies ahead.
Aussie superstar Casey Stoner won just three races from his first 20 MotoGP starts but went on to win 38 premier class races and two world championships before his early retirement in 2012.
Also missing from the top five in this list is Valentino Rossi, who stands astride MotoGP with an incredible record.
Rossi won five races from his first 20 starts and, now at 35 years of age, and still racing, he has accumulated an astounding 80 MotoGP wins and seven world championships.
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