Marc Marquez's fourth DNF of the season means he is now all but certain to suffer his first title defeat as a MotoGP rider.

The Repsol Honda star has slipped 77 points behind with just six rounds remaining, meaning the championship chase is now surely a direct duel between Yamaha team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

So how does Marquez see the contest between them?

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"It looks interesting because on speed Lorenzo is faster, but Valentino has unbelievable experience and is consistent so he can take profit from all the situations," Marquez said. "It will be interesting to see this battle and we will try to be there in the middle for every race."

Rossi is twelve points ahead of Lorenzo after his wet Silverstone win and has finished on the podium at every round this season. But Lorenzo has won the most races (five compared with four for Rossi) and overcame a 29-point deficit to tie with Rossi after Brno.

Lorenzo, like Marquez, is a double MotoGP champion, claiming the crown in 2010 and 2012. Meanwhile Rossi's seventh and most recent title triumph was back in 2009.

At 36 Rossi is also the oldest rider on the grid, so what is the Italian's greatest motivation after 20 grand prix seasons?

"First of all I love riding motorcycles," Rossi said at Silverstone. "It is my passion to race at the highest level, in MotoGP with the Yamaha Factory bike. I like this life. I like to be a rider and especially it is the passion.

"For sure the victories are important, but I think the taste you have when you go on the bike. What you feel in your head five minutes before the start of a race, when you jump on your bike, this makes the difference. That is the motivation."

The next round will be Rossi's local event at Misano.

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Something lost in translation there? "Marquez said. “It will be interesting to see this battle and we will try to be there in the middle for every race."
Why specify he will be in the middle rather than fighting for victories?

Insidejob:
bri t: Something lost in translation there? "Marquez said. “It will be interesting to see this battle and we will try to be there in the middle for every race."
Why specify he will be in the middle rather than fighting for victories?[\blockquote]

Probably because he's Spanish and his English isn't that good.[\blockquote]

He knows how to say 'fight for the victory'. But if he wants to be between Rossi and Lorenzo, that says he's perfectly prepared to be influential in the outcome and not (like some would) leave them to sort it out between them when it comes down to it.