-- Mick Doohan speaks about Marc Marquez and the chances of Stoner getting
behind the bars again
Five-time 500cc World Champion Mick Doohan says the meteoric rise of Spanish
sensation Marc Marquez has been “fantastic” for MotoGP ahead of this weekend’s
2013 Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
20-year-old Marquez comes to Phillip Island with a 43-point championship lead
with three races remaining, meaning he could seal the title in Australia and
become the first rookie to win the championship in 35 years.
Doohan admits he’s been taken aback by the success Marquez has achieved in a
rookie season that has featured 14 podium finishes in 15 races and a win in just
his second MotoGP outing in Texas.
“I knew he was quick, but the way he’s come in and maintained the momentum from
the start… having a few wins under his belt early really sent his confidence to
the next level,” Doohan said.
“I don’t think anyone would have picked how strong he’s been, but I think it’s
been fantastic for the sport.”
Marquez, who won the Moto2 title in Australia last year, has come under fire on
several occasions this season for his assertive approach, and clashed with Honda
teammate Dani Pedrosa at Aragon in Spain in September in an incident that saw
Pedrosa crash out soon after, all but ending his championship hopes.
Doohan feels Marquez’s aggression is acceptable as long as it remains measured.
“You need to have a controlled amount of aggression, and I don’t see that he’s
out of control,” Doohan said. “For me, it’s not an issue.”
Doohan also commented on the prospects of a MotoGP return for Stoner, who won
the last six Australian Grands Prix of his career before retiring at the age of
27 last season. If Stoner chooses to come back, Doohan feels it needs to be
sooner rather than later.
“He could be on a bike as early as next year if he wanted to be,” Doohan said.
“He still knows how to ride and he’s still young enough. He’s an immensely
talented rider so anything’s possible – but if he was going to come back, 2015
is going to have to be the year. Anything beyond that, it’s going to get more