MotoGP stars Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa
and Andrea Dovizioso
all gave a positive reaction to Thursday's news that Moto2 star Marc Marquez will step up to the premier-class next season.
The 19-year-old Spaniard has signed a two-year deal to ride alongside Pedrosa at the factory Repsol Honda team, thus replacing retiring double world champion Stoner.
“I think it is good news for MotoGP, for the championship, to have another big rider fighting in theory with us next year,” said Yamaha's 2012 title leader Lorenzo.
“I think he will be able to be quite fast from the first race, from the first practice. It is a good line-up, Dani and Marquez, in the same team with a Spanish sponsor..”
Seven time MotoGP champion Rossi believes Marquez has what it takes to become a premier-class champion.
“I like a lot Marquez. He is very young, but he has already demonstrated that he has the potential to be a world champion in the future in MotoGP,” said the Ducati rider.
“He is very strong, very fast and sometimes he wins difficult races when he is not the fastest on track. This is so important. To arrive in the Repsol Honda team is fantastic for a rookie.”
Like Marquez, Pedrosa - whose own two-year contract extension was announced at the same time - also moved directly to Repsol Honda from the then 250cc class, in 2006.
“MotoGP is more tough. We have to see how he is at the beginning. But for sure he is very talented, so no doubt of the possibilities,” said Pedrosa, who won his first race of the season last Sunday in Germany and is now 14-points behind Lorenzo.
Marquez is taking the place of retiring reigning champion Stoner, who had previously named Marquez as his preferred choice.
“I think he has shown what his intentions are by the championship is having now,” said the Australian. “It should be interesting to watch him next year and see how it goes.”
Marquez's speed and fearless riding style caught the eye of MotoGP riders long ago.