Valentino Rossi finds a contrast in perception between his dominant Honda MotoGP seasons and that of current champion Marc Marquez 'difficult to understand'.

Shortly after Marquez's ten-race win streak came to an end at Brno on Sunday, the Italian was asked how he felt about the plaudits given to Marquez given that his own Honda success was often labelled as down to the bike.

"This is the bigger difference between my period [at Honda] and Marc's. When I won in 2001, 2002, 2003 with the Honda not everybody, but a lot of people - especially the journalists - said that I won because I had the best bike," began Rossi, who beat Marquez to third place in Sunday's Czech round.

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"Now with Marc racing with Honda, [people say] he has won a lot of races because he does the difference! I don't know why there is this difference between me and him. For me it is difficult to understand.

"Maybe it is the rivals, because sincerely we are better rivals [to Marquez] than I had [when at Honda], because more or less we never complain a lot about the bike. When in the past I beat, especially Biaggi, he always complained that I beat him because I had the best bike [laughs]. It was funny!

"But at the end you know I changed bike and I won also with Yamaha, but [then people said] I won because I don't have rivals! So it is never ending.

"I think that Honda is very strong now, but you cannot say nothing to Marc because he won ten races. So for sure at this moment he is the fastest rider."

Rossi won three successive 500cc/MotoGP world championships at Honda, then a further four titles after moving to Yamaha. The Doctor is currently battling Marquez's team-mate and Brno winner Dani Pedrosa for second in this year's standings.


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squiggle: I don't think that's true at all. I've never seen a rider praised more - and for longer - than Valentino Rossi. [\blockquote]

Try Mike Hailwood.

I seem to recall that when Rossi was on the Honda he disputed that it was just the machine. He was quoted as saying it was 80% the rider, 20% the bike.
Fair enough, I'll buy that, although how he can reconcile that statement to his days on the Ducati I'm not quite sure.
Anyway, equally the same must apply therefore with Marc Marquez. 80% him, 20% the Honda? Sauce for the goose and all that.

It might also be worth pointing out that the performance difference between the Honda RC211V that Rossi rode and the early Yamaha was huge. Whilst the RC213V is clearly the superior motorcycle the difference to the current Yamaha M1 is far less pronounced.

it's rather irrelevant all this until MM moves away from Honda and gets on a Yamaha and Rossi or Lorenzo on the Honda.

Also greatness is not only the Championships won, but also the adventures that were undertaken. Sitting at Mama Honda's breast forever isn't that impressing to me.

Rossi was the first to leave under conflicting circumstances and won the bet. To be the first to move like that was really difficult.

You can't compare any generation.

The Honda RCV now is an automated ride where a clutch is not used anymore and the tire life depends on a model with traction control and every section of the circuit is controlled by calibrated limits. The bridgestone tires are also quite incredible. 15 years ago the Honda was a more difficult bike and be competitive, like it was to ride a 500 2. stroke before that.

Imagine running an 1960's MV agusta or a Ducati at its maximum with the tires and brakes from can't compare the generation as the conditions and problems were completely different.

Running in a hay bale then sliding on the unprotected leathers compared to the airbag suits and clinical run off areas often with tarmac today are the other difference. Then circuits were often just public roads with the dirt of the cars and lorries that drove just before the weekend.

Seriously you cannot compare any decade, they all are particular