Alex Marquez is a rookie in the MotoGP class on the Repsol Honda, carrying more on his shoulders than everyone expected.
Looking at Alex Marquez’s championship standings place, P16, it is deemed as ‘disappointing’ with the younger Marquez receiving a lot of criticism from ‘sofa racers’ and armchair world champions who can clearly ride better than the 2 x World Champion.
If you were to look at the small picture, Marquez is not doing as expected on the Repsol Honda given his brothers reputation, but, he is not his brother. Marc Marquez has set an unattainable benchmark for MotoGP rookies, scoring a podium in every race he finished as a rookie, winning 6 x races and the world title in his rookie season. Alex was not likely to hit this, not many riders have done this, not even Valentino Rossi achieved this.
Alex has however carried a huge burden on his shoulders, he was expected to use this season to learn from his brother using his data and improve before moving to the LCR Honda camp where he could develop further under the HRC banner and the team of Lucio Cecchinello. This has not happened, he will still move to LCR Honda, but he has not had his brothers guidance and help due to Marc’s injury at Jerez, meaning Alex is missing out on his brother teaching him the tricks of the track and how to go faster on the Honda, given that Marc is the only rider since 2012 to put the Honda on the podium and that Cal Crutchlow is the only other Honda race winner since 2013.
He is learning everything for himself, yes he has Stefan Bradl to assist him of course, but it is not the same as what other rookies have had, such as Joan Mir having Alex Rins at Suzuki with Rins having Iannone before him. Vinales having Aleix Espargaro or Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller. Bradl has not been a competitive MotoGP rider since 2014, Bradl is a world champion, but Alex is a 2 x champion.
Despite this weight of Honda on his shoulders, Alex has been consistent, finishing every race he has entered, scoring points in 6/8 races with 2 x top 10 finishes with a best finish of P7, he scored P7 at the second Misano race where he was the only Repsol Honda rider due to Bradl sitting out due to injury.
Alex is on an upward trajectory and deserves praise for the work he is putting in given the dire situation at Honda. Without Marc Marquez, Honda are suffering, morale will be lower and the general atmosphere of the team will not be at an all-time high, he has coped very well in the move to the MotoGP class and there is much more to come.
Featured image – www.motogp.com