Marquez: Rossi’s appeal “something unrepeatable” in MotoGP

Marc Marquez says Valentino Rossi’s appeal bringing MotoGP to a mainstream audience is “something unrepeatable”, as the Italian prepares for his final race on home soil. 

Marquez: Rossi’s appeal “something unrepeatable” in MotoGP

Rossi will call time on his illustrious MotoGP career at the end of the 2021 season, and will end it having tallied up nine grand prix world titles – seven of which coming in the premier class – and at least 115 victories.

As well as the on-track success, 42-year-old Rossi helped push MotoGP and motorcycle racing in general into a mainstream audience with his enormous popularity.

Rossi will make his final MotoGP appearance on home soil at Misano in this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but arch-rival Marquez is convinced grandstands in 2022 will continue to be bathed in yellow #46 merchandise.

“Valentino, his sporting career and what he has done for MotoGP is something unique and will always be unique,” Marquez said on Friday at Misano. 

“It is not within anyone’s reach to repeat anything similar.

“He was the first to win a lot and he has done a lot for motorcycling, but above all he has attracted a huge number of fans to the sport.

“And that is something unrepeatable and for which MotoGP should be grateful to him.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Marquez and Rossi had a major falling out during the 2015 season, after the latter accused Marquez of conspiring with Rossi's then Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to sabotage his title hopes.

That came to a head at Sepang when the pair collided, for which Rossi was forced to start the Valencia finale from the back of the grid. He would ultimately lose the championship to Lorenzo by five points.

Tensions looked to have eased after Rossi beat Marquez in a thrilling 2016 Barcelona duel on the same weekend Moto2 race Luis Salom died in a practice incident, with Rossi and Marquez sharing an embrace for the first time since their 2015 fallout. 

But the rivalry boiled over again in 2018 when Marquez, recovering from a ride-through penalty for an incorrect start procedure in Argentina, collided with Rossi – sparking a war of words between the pair again.

In interviews this year, Rossi maintains he was robbed of the title in 2015 and continues to blame Marquez for that.

Commenting on their current relationship, Marquez said: “My relationship with him is not good, but I have no problem recognising how important he has been to the sport and admitting the reality.

“In recent years we have no longer been direct rivals and it doesn't depend on me if the relationship changes, [it’s] something that doesn't matter much to me either.”

shares
comments

Related video

Rossi not certain new MotoGP age limits “will fix all the problems”
Previous article

Rossi not certain new MotoGP age limits “will fix all the problems”

Next article

Emilia Romagna MotoGP: Zarco tops wet FP3, title contenders in Q1

Emilia Romagna MotoGP: Zarco tops wet FP3, title contenders in Q1
Load comments
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021