Six-time MotoGP champion Marquez, 29, underwent a fourth, and most serious, surgery on his troublesome arm which forced him to miss a chunk of 2022, with test rider Bradl temporarily replacing him.

But he roared back into form with a pole position and a podium finish although his optimism was immediately dampened when he criticised his Repsol Honda 2023 prototype at the postseason Valencia test.

"You don't want to ride again" - Marc Marquez talks about his Mandalika crash | MotoGP 2023

“Back then, Marc may not have cared so much about the falls,” Bradl told Speedweek about his teammate’s heyday. 

“The crashes have always been part of his approach.

“He has often said that he has to feel the limit and know when the bike slips away. As long as nothing happened, the falls didn't bother him so much. 

“As long as the results on Sunday were right, Marc suppressed a lot. It was always fascinating to observe how he was able to cope with the falls all the time.

“But he's not getting any younger.”

Bradl criticised Honda’s role in forcing Marquez to take too many gambles: “A number of points have come together. Marc has therefore had to take an increased risk in recent years.

“Because then there was a need to catch up with the aerodynamic aids. And Ducati showed courage because they constantly brought changes to the devices and aerodynamics.

“As a result, Yamaha has also fallen behind a bit. Honda has never been at the forefront of such experiments as Ducati has done in recent years.

“This is now falling on the feet of the Japanese. I notice that Honda lacks a bit of courage to experiment.”

Marquez’s brother Alex Marquez has left Honda to join Ducati, a notable switch because the balance of power in MotoGP has shifted to the Italian team, who crowned Francesco Bagnaia as their first premier class champion since Casey Stoner in 2007.

Marc Marquez faces an uphill battle in 2023 - fighting against his own physical limits, but also riding a below-par Honda bike amid a sea of Ducati rivals.

“He knows he still has two or three good years ahead of him,” Bradl said. “He wants a winning bike, as he has stressed several times, even before his break from racing at the Mugello GP.

“Marc didn't see the big steps he envisioned at the Valencia test in November.

“Sure, he had four operations on his upper arm. In my opinion, he is aware of his state of health. That is why he is now calling for clear measures at HRC.

“It has to be said that Ducati has made great strides in the last two or three years. You can see that each of the eight Desmosedici riders is fast.

“The MotoGP world championship has changed. Marc can't play to his strengths on the current bike as he used to. He always has to take too much risk.

“He realises that he is never able to keep the risk so high in the long term. He has to take a step back and rely more on the bike.

“But since all Honda riders crashed x times and the results in 2022 were extremely weak, which can be seen on the result lists, he calls for a more competitive bike.

“Marc is not the only Honda rider who criticises. Everyone else has done the same, from Alex Marquez to Nakagami to Pol.

“Marc is in the strongest position due to his successes. That is why he is now calling loud and clear for improvements.

“The balance of power has also changed in the last two or three years. The competition has become much stronger.”