Alex Marquez responded emphatically to a suggestion he only achieved his Repsol Honda ride for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season because he is the brother of its six-time title-winner Marc Marquez, saying his Moto3 and Moto2 wins alone prove he is deserving of the high-profile seat.
The Spaniard stamped his mark on MotoGP during this weekend’s French MotoGP at Le Mans by scything his way into contention from a lowly 18th on the grid, ascending to a surprise second place finish to secure a maiden podium in his rookie campaign, while it also signals Honda’s first podium of the season.
The result comes at a fitting time for Marquez, who has been showing glimmers of potential in more recent races but has otherwise had a hard initiation in a team used to winning.
Contending with having to adapt to the rigours of MotoGP while riding the notoriously tricky RC213V package, it was pressure that only intensified when Marc was injured in round one to place the fortunes of the title-winning team largely in his hands.
With a best finish of seventh coming into the French weekend, it is Marquez’s qualifying record – no higher than 16th in the opening nine rounds – that has stood out, not least because fellow rookie Brad Binder was a Q2 qualifier by round two and a race winner in only his third outing.
As such Marquez is satisfied to accept criticism of his 2020 MotoGP season so far, saying it actually motivates him to turn things around.
However, he firmly shuts down any suggestion he is undeserving to have been ported into a team such as Repsol Honda and is only there because of his brother.
“In the end I know why I am here and why I am wearing these colours, I am a two-time World Champion and I know why they promoted me to the Repsol Honda team. It was a strange situation because Lorenzo retired in the last race so it was difficult to take the decision and the team trusted me, so for that reason I have piece of mind as to why I’m am here.”
“The criticism is good sometimes, it gives you more motivation and gives you fire to keep going and believe in yourself. I agree with the critics because the performance is not what we expect, in qualifying especially I am not as fast as I want, but as for the move… I don’t care about the critics, I know why I am here.”
Despite this, Marquez won’t be a Repsol Honda rider next season after the manufacturer confirmed prior to his debut that he would be replaced in the factory team by Pol Espargaro, leading to a move into the satellite LCR squad.