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26 days ago
By Nick Harris

Should Ago and Vale start looking over their shoulders?

Nick Harris shares his thoughts on Marquez' seventh World Championship win

When Marc Marquez intimated at the weekend he has every intention of carrying on racing for at least ten years or more I reached for the MotoGP™ bible, the red book of statistics. The new Champion has a long way to go but should Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi start to get worried? We can’t predict what is going to happen to any of us in the next decade but if you follow the bible’s statistics the 25-year-old Spaniard could become a real threat to a couple of record breakers we never expected to be eclipsed.

When Marquez clinched his seventh World title with another masterclass at Motegi on Sunday those records continued tumbling. It was the third time he’d clinched the MotoGP™ title for his Repsol Honda team at Motegi; the home of Honda. The other two were in 2014 and two years ago.

Only Agostini and Rossi have won more premier class titles. It was Marquez’s fifth on Sunday to equal Mick Doohan’s record from the nineties. He’s closing in on Ago with eight and Vale on seven. It’s the next two statistics that show just what he has achieved and what he could go on to completely rewrite those history books we always thought were cast in stone.

Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win five premier class World Championship titles, at the age of 25 years 246 days, taking the record from Rossi who was 26 years 221 days when he won his fifth successive premier-class title in 2005.

He is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of seven World Championship titles across all classes, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 26 years 140 days old when he won his seventh title – the 1966 350cc world championship.

This is his seventh World title across all classes, five MotoGP™ and one apiece in Moto2™ and 125; the only Spanish rider with more world titles than Marquez is Angel Nieto who won thirteen World Championship titles, seven 125cc, six 50cc. He equalled the record of Doohan by winning the premier class title five times for Honda.

Will anybody ever eclipse Ago’s seemingly untouchable record of 122 Grand Prix wins with even Vale admitting it’s going to be tough because he’s still seven behind. Marquez is still way back on 69 but with 43 wins in just six years in the premier class another ten in the saddle could reap its rewards’.

A long way to go and Ago and Vale achieved those records riding two separate makes of machinery with both two–stroke and four stroke power. Agostini on MV Agusta and Yamaha and Rossi on Honda and Yamaha. Would Marquez also have to change machinery at some point to push the two legends?  Of course, it’s far too early for Ago and Vale to start looking over their shoulders but after witnessing the first 25 years of Marquez’s life, never say never.

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