MotoGP legend Rossi brought the curtain down on his long career at the end of 2021, while Marquez has seen this year blighted by more major injuries which cost him a crack at the championship.

Marquez and Rossi had an uneasy truce while they were in competition and their legacies are the subject of debate.

“Marquez ended the era of Valentino Rossi and opened another,” said five-time MotoGP race-winner Melandri. 

“In many things Marc is like Valentino: sportingly speaking he is a b****** and on the track he has redone everything that Vale had done before.”

Italian icon Rossi retired with seven MotoGP world championships while Spaniard Marquez has six.

Valentino Rossi vs Marc Marquez - The Rivalry | MotoGP

This season Marquez underwent a fourth major arm surgery, scuppering his hopes of success although his comeback has already been mightily impressive, raising hopes that he could challenge to equal Rossi’s tally of titles in 2023.

Marquez admitted that he copied the style of Australia’s Casey Stoner at Phillip Island. Stoner is a two-time champion.

Is Marquez better than Stoner?

“I don't believe in comparisons," Melandri said. "These are different times, Giacomo Agostini today would never win 15 world championships, it is impossible to win two a year. 

“The lifestyle, the training, the type of bike, the riding. These are different times, it is impossible to make comparisons."

Despite missing six races in 2022, Marquez is 12th in the MotoGP standings, the highest-placed Honda rider in a woeful campaign for the team.