The perceived wisdom towards the end of last year and all through the winter was Marc Marquez's biggest threat to his MotoGP crown would come from Fabio Quartararo, who demolished expectations and asserted himself as a MotoGP frontrunner in a sensational rookie campaign last year.
Call it hype, call it misguided, call it whatever - the facts were laid bare for all to see. Despite riding a 'B-spec' Yamaha machinery, essentially a 2018 M1 with a detuned 2019 engine, the Petronas SRT rider regularly ran with and made his factory counterparts look silly. More than that, he gave Marquez something to think about.
Upon only just beating Quartararo at the San Marino Grand Prix, Marquez branded him a main title threat for 2020 and a problem for the rest of the season. Indeed, SRT backers Petronas were willing to dip their hands in their pockets to provide Quartararo with full works machinery for this year, with Yamaha only too happy to oblige.