Marc Marquez says his absence from this weekend’s Andalusian Grand Prix won’t devalue the 2020 MotoGP title should it ultimately cost him a seventh premier class championship.
The Honda rider has withdrawn from Sunday’s second race at Jerez owing to the right arm he broke in a heavy accident in last Sunday’s Spanish GP, having only undergone surgery on Tuesday.
After last weekend’s race, Honda team boss Alberto Puig stated to Spanish television that another rider winning the 2020 title over Marquez due to his injury couldn’t be “completely satisfied”.
While he later clarified these comments, Marquez insists that a rider’s injury is not a rival’s “fault” and that the value of the 2020 championship won’t be diminished should he lose it.
“If you’re champion it’s because you did something better than the others,” Marquez said on Saturday at Jerez.
“The value is the same one. This is one thing. Of course, if I’m one of the opponents, always you like to race against them and to have all of them on the track and to fight, to win a championship with all of them on track.
“But if somebody gets injured, it’s not your fault and the value [of the title] is the same [regardless].”
Nine-times grand prix world champion Valentino Rossi does not believe the title hunt is “over” for Marquez, despite not scoring from the first two races of a 13-round season.
“First of all, it depends how many points [Fabio] Quartararo and [Maverick] Vinales take tomorrow, and also [Andrea] Dovizioso,” Rossi said when asked who benefits most from Marquez’s absence.
“The championship is short and he will start with a disadvantage, but in the first race he had great pace and he could win.
“He was the fastest. So, I think for him it’s not over.”
Petronas SRT’s Quartararo, who won last weekend’s Spanish GP and starts on pole for Sunday’s Andalusian GP, thinks it is too early to start considering himself as a championship favourite and still believes Marquez “is a title contender”.
“Of course, he is a title contender,” Quartararo said of Marquez.
“Two zero [scores] is very difficult to have in this kind of championship because it’s quite short, but we know the potential of Marc.
“Last year he made the record of points [scored] in history, so for sure he showed he is a title contender.
“We have a good opportunity to fight for it, so we will make our best but for sure he will come back to Brno in a good condition.
“So, we will need to do our best, but for sure he is a title contender.”