Marc Marquez enjoyed a memorable debut campaign in MotoGP and the Repsol Honda rider could be set to dominate the championship for years to come.
The rookie won last season’s world title by just four points following a memorable climax in Valencia and the man he pipped to that crown, Jorge Lorenzo, has been lavishing praise on his rival ahead of 2014’s curtain raiser in Qatar.
Speaking to news agency AFP, Lorenzo said: “He is talented, fast, ambitious and brave … [and will be] world champion for many years.”
And when the riders line up at the Losail Circuit in March, all eyes will be on Marquez, who is currently the 11/10 favourite to secure consecutive titles and emulate the likes of Valentino Rossi who dominated the sport at the turn of the century.
The 20-year-old became the youngest ever MotoGP winner in Texas last season, the first of six Grand Prix victories at the highest level.
Speed, aggression and bravery were Marquez’s hallmarks and traits displayed when previously landing both the 125cc and Moto2 crowns, with the champion eager for even more improvement despite the numerous records he set in the last campaign.
However, Lorenzo is a former two-time champion in his own right and having pushed his rival to the wire he shouldn’t be discounted.
A hat-trick of victories as the season reached its culmination pushed Lorenzo’s Grand Prix winning total to eight races in 2013 and barring a broken collarbone the outcome of the championship could have been different.
That makes the 6/4 about the Yamaha rider’s chances in the upcoming year potentially the value bet.
Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa, three times a MotoGP runner-up, is priced at odds of 5/1 to break his title duck.
British interests lie with 66/1 outsider Cal Crutchlow who posted a career-best fifth placed finish last season and will aim to improve further having moved to Ducati. Bradley Smith is available at 100/1 after ending his rookie term in tenth place.
Marquez would appear to be the rider to beat though, and given the nature of his past performances it’s likely that his maiden MotoGP world crown could be the first of many to come.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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