MotoGP champion Marc Marquez became the first rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1970 to win the first ten races of the season at Indianapolis on Sunday.
The 21-year-old also matched Repsol Honda predecessor Mick Doohan's ten successive wins during 1997. With talk of a perfect 18-round sweep increasing, the man himself insists it would be 'so difficult'.
“Every weekend I say, 'ok, here is maybe the time to finish second or third. Here will be the time where I struggle'. But every race I feel so strong,” Marquez replied when asked to sum up his success.
“The most important thing is that I enjoy it and like we saw on the podium the team enjoys every victory like the first one, which keeps the motivation and concentration.
“But it will be so difficult to win every race. Yamaha were close to us here and next is Brno and Silverstone. Two tracks where last year we struggled a little bit more and Yamaha is strong. Anyway the first target will be to try to win the race, of course.”
Given all the uncertainties involved, winning every race remains a huge task, but even a conservative estimate would put Marquez on target for 14 victories. The all-time MotoGP record is twelve wins in a season, by Doohan in '97.
Marquez's latest triumph took on a familiar format: A low key start, during which his chief rivals frantically exchanged blows at the front, followed by an inevitable rise to the top.
“The battle at the beginning was so exciting! My start, like always, was not so good and the track temperature was higher, which changed the feeling with the front tyre. I had some moments so I thought, 'ok, we will be quiet for the first ten laps behind Valentino'"
The victory pass, on lap 11 of 27, was typical of Marquez's spontaneous race craft. One moment he was trying to defend second place against Jorge Lorenzo, the next he had overtaken both Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in a single move.
“I was behind Valentino on the straight. I wasn't able to overtake him on the slipstream. For some reason Yamaha was quite strong here on the straight and instead Jorge overtook me,” explained Marquez.
“At the second corner I tried to repass Jorge, but I saw Valentino was also a little wide so I thought 'ok, I'll go in'. I went a little wide but then I came back at Turn 3 and after that I led the race. I thought that was the time to push because Jorge was also strong.”
The Spaniard maintained a small buffer, crossing the line 1.8s clear of Lorenzo, with the other Movistar Yamaha of Rossi in third.
Marquez has extended his championship lead to 89-points over team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who concluded an off-form weekend in fourth.