MotoGP Yearender 2019: Marc Marquez remained in a class of his own

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, December 13: 2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship was all about Marc Marquez as the Repsol Honda rider remained in a class of his own throughout the season.

2019 saw the Spaniard being crowned world champion for the eighth time in total, and the sixth time at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing.

At 26, Marquez is the youngest ever eight-time world champion across all classes and considering his age, it is very much possible that he will double up the tally in the coming years.

With Valentino Rossi on the wane, Andrea Dovizioso yet to fulfill his potential and the likes of Fabio Quartararo and Johann Zarco yet to be considered as title contenders, it looks as though the arrival of Marquez's brother -- Alex Marquez -- as his team-mate in place of the now-retired Jorge Lorenzo at Repsol Honda has reinvigorated the grid for the 2020 season.

But for now, Marquez is firmly in the saddle and his performance in the 2019 season epitomises just that.

Hero Honda

Marquez won an incredible 12 of the 19 races in the 2019 FIM World Championship season and also ensured the teams' trophy for Repsol Honda.

So dominant was Marquez that he annexed his sixth MotoGP world title and fourth in a row with four races to spare after triumphing in Thailand. Marquez's tally of 420 points is a MotoGP record for a single season, while the Spaniard also achieved 18 podium finishes.

Dovizioso falters

The nearest anyone could come was Ducati's Dovizioso with 269 , but the 151-point gap aptly sums up the 2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship season.

After a promising start to the 2019 season under lights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar where Dovizioso edged Marquez in a last-lap thriller, the Italian flattered to deceive and by the the time season was halfway through, he was playing second fiddle to the champion.

What next for Rossi?

The MotoGP legend was a big let down in the 2019 season where he could manage to finish only seventh.

While his Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales stealed a march over him and finished third overall in the standings with 211 points, Rossi's future looks bleak as of now though he has a year of his contract left with the Japanese manufacturer.

A grid without Rossi, who is the face of modern MotoGP would be a worrying sign for Dorna Sports, but the earlier the event's commercial right holder reconciles to it, the better.

Champion bids adieu

The retirement of three-time MotoGP world champion Lorenzo will leave a big void on the grid next year.

The stats speak for himself -- 18 seasons, three MotoGP World Championships, two 250cc world title, 68 wins, 152 podiums, 69 pole positions and 37 fastest laps: that is Lorenzo, one of the true greats of the modern day Grand Prix racing.

It remains to be seen if Alex can step into the big shoes.

New chip of the old block

The 23-year-old won the Moto2 title in 2019 and is now to follow in the footsteps of his brother Marc, who had made the big plunge forward six years ago when he won his first world title in the premier class title in his debut season.

Alex has been given a one-year contract with the team as he prepares to ride the Honda RC213V in his debut campaign in the top category.

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