Rookie MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez has ramped up the pressure on experienced team-mate Dani Pedrosa, by stating that his fellow Spaniard 'is the one who has to win the title'.
That is despite Marquez holding a 34-point advantage over his Repsol Honda team partner.
Pedrosa is currently tied with Yamaha's reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo for second place.
But while Lorenzo has won the last two races, Pedrosa has not beaten Marquez since June.
"When you are on-track, the first enemy is your team-mate," 20-year-old Marquez told the official MotoGP website. "We always have that competition in the garage. For me, though, it is clear that right now Dani is the number one in the team. He is the one who has to win the title and I am the rookie.
"That's how I started the year and that's how I will finish - and I have no intention of taking a different role because it's not my moment. We'll see what happens next year, but right now my role is to be a rookie and I am making the most of it because I don't have responsibilities or pressure. I can ride with more freedom."
27-year-old Pedrosa, who like Lorenzo suffered mid-season collarbone injuries, has been a factory Honda rider since moving up to MotoGP in 2006. Pedrosa has finished MotoGP runner-up on three occasions, while his 24 race wins mean he is the most successful rider without a premier-class title.
Prior to the start of the season, HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto declared: "I think if [Pedrosa] doesn't take the title [this] year, he probably never will, but if he does then it's quite possible he'll go on to be champion several times."
Five rounds remain, starting with the third home Spanish event for Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo at Aragon this weekend.
"Both Dani and Jorge are very strong, they are giving it 100%," Marquez said of his rivals. "For me, is an honour to be fighting against the best Jorge and the best Dani [both recovered from injuries]. They are giving it their best to fight me hard. Jorge is playing his cards right in that he knows when he needs to play hard, take risks and win races."
Marquez and Lorenzo have both won five races this year, with Pedrosa taking two wins and Valentino Rossi one. All four riders are contracted to their present teams until the end of 2014.
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