Reigning double MotoGP champion Marc Marquez may have dropped 49 points from title leader Valentino Rossi, but the Italian knows more than anyone that the Honda star can still make a comeback.

During a dramatic 2006 season, which also saw three competitive manufacturers, Rossi overcame a 51-point deficit within just five rounds to seize the title lead from Nicky Hayden by eight points heading into the Valencia finale.

Rossi went on to lose the championship after falling at Valencia, but with twelve rounds of the 2015 season remaining Marquez and Honda have much more time on their side.

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Rossi had scored 65 points after the opening six rounds of the '06 season, while Marquez has scored 69 points at the same stage this year. Like Marquez, Rossi suffered two non-scores, but had claimed two wins rather than the single victory so far for Marquez.

Marquez is presently fifth in the standings behind Rossi, Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (-6 points), plus Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso (-35) and Andrea Iannone (-37).

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It's not bashing Nicky to point out that Rossi won 5 races that year, Pedrosa, Melandri and Caparossi each won 3 races and Hayden won only 2. The lowest winning precentage in the history of the sport. That's why the points system needs to change to make wins more valuable. The rider with the 5th highest number of wins in a season should never be the world champion!

Not a good comparison. Rossi, at that time, was clearly the best rider in the championship. 3 DNFs cost him the title. One in France when he had 5+ sec lead with a few laps to go and the bike stopped. The other 2 were tire front tire failures at Laguna and Singapore when he was in podium positions at both races.

grantrd: Oh goodness here we go again.......Let the Nicky Hayden bashing begin....
Fact is Hayden won the championship in 2006 and Rossi didn't......
Rossi only stood a chance in the last race that year because of Pedrosa's complete brain fade in Portugal when he took Hayden out.....Rossi then had a bad start and crashed out all on his own at Valencia.....
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Yes, and Rossi got taken out in Spain. So that evens that up. Fact is 5 wins vs 2 that year. Hayden won the title by accumulating pussy points while Rossi had 3 mechanical DNFs in addition to be taken out in 1st corner in Spain

SkyWilk: Hayden didn't deserve the title? He outscored everybody, He kept it upright in the last race, while his famous rival cracked under pressude. He deserved it alright, he was the guy with the most points, and thats the end of that. [\blockquote]

He won because of the pussy point system. Under other point systems that have been used over the years, he wouldn't have won. He clearly wasn't the best rider, maybe not even second or third best.

Garcia: I think the point of the article is that in 2006 Rossi recovered a 51 points deficit in 5 races to take the lead, so in theory is possible Marquez could recover from his 49 points deficit in the 12 races remaining. He could also not recover anything, who knows, but the championship is open and he is not out of it yet. Yes Hayden wasn't winning that many races but this season you also have Lorenzo , Rossi, the Ducatis and possibly Pedrosa taking points from each other.

Ok so a question for the crash.net statitians: in 2006 Rossi recovered that gap but he didn't win, so, what rider has won a championship after overcoming the biggest point deficit of them all? And how big was that deficit with how many races left? Anyone knows?[\blockquote]

The point I was attempting to make and I think others would agree with is that Rossi didn''t have the competition then that Marquez has now. That is, Lorenzo on fire, Rossi riding very well, the Ducati quite competitive and Pedros