#2020: Marquez set to equal Rossi?

The number 93 has one more box to tick to equal his great rival. Will 2020 see him equal Rossi as a nine-time World Champion?

Time flies, and it’s already six years since Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took the premier class crown for the first time. Then, he was a 20-year-old rookie with the world at his feet, breaking records to become a three-time World Champion and achieve his dream of taking the title in each class of Grand Prix racing. In short, a new prodigy was born.

After taking the crown again in 2014, beginning the season with 10 victories in a row, that which many suspected and even more feared seemed to be confirmed: Marquez was the new man to beat. 2015 was a hiccup, however, and gave pause to the number 93 – some errors and more crashes took him out of contention, and his relationship with Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) exploded from rival to nemesis. And so, what better way to bring an alien back down to earth than equaling the man no one thought could be caught…

2016 began with Marquez already having taken four Championships and he hit another gear that year, since having added another four. At only 26, Marquez is already one of the greats – and 2020 is a chance for him to equal Rossi, for many the rider considered the great, and take a ninth world title.

So far at least, Marquez has shown himself capable of breaking every record and he could take a ninth crown in even less time than it took the Italian, who took 12 seasons to do it – 1997 to 2009. Given he took his first crown in the 125 class in 2010, Marquez could do it in ten…

2020 will be, then, a season full of challenges for Marquez, and Rossi himself will be one of the men aiming to stop him. With the number 46 racing on as well, the records may not be a fixed target…

The likes of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) are primed to take him on as well, as is old foe Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), the man who’s come closest to de-railing the Marquez train in the last three years.

Then there’s the added challenge of the KymiRing and another round for his rivals to cut the gap, the Red Bull Ring remains without Marquez having taken a win there…and he’ll have a new teammate too.

2020 – whichever way the momentum goes, it’s going to make history.

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