Why MotoGP's returning king can make or break Mir's 2020 legacy
The absence of Marc Marquez from the most open season in MotoGP history cast a looming shadow over reigning champion Joan Mir. The six-time world champion will miss the first two grands prix of 2021 as he continues to recover from injury, but remains the essential benchmark that nobody can rule out
Such is the otherworldly aura that radiates from Marc Marquez that, even after he sat out almost an entire season, and will miss the first two races this year, we start a new MotoGP campaign seriously considering his title prospects.
The last time we saw the six-time world champion on his factory Honda, he was pulling out of the Andalusian Grand Prix last July as he conceded defeat to his recently broken right arm. Three operations later, Marquez’s arm has healed to a point where he can ride again, but on Monday he confirmed that the opening double-header at Losail, comprising this weekend’s Qatar GP and next week’s Doha GP, will take place without him as Stefan Bradl once again stands in.
Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020
Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come
Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year
MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact
Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy
Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention
Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice
OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.
Podcast: Why Marquez’s Qatar MotoGP absence hints at a stronger rider
How Marquez's absence changes the Qatar MotoGP dynamic