The six-time MotoGP champion was as dominating a force as the premier class had ever seen until suffering a career-altering injury at the 2020 season-opener in Jerez.

What followed has been three seasons where Honda has struggled to produce a bike capable of winning for other riders, while Marquez has unfortunately missed time in each of those years.

However, the end to 2022 showed that Marquez is not only regaining his best physical form, but also his on-track form after several brilliant results.

Pole at Motegi in changeable conditions brought back memories of his stunning performance in Brno, before the Repsol Honda rider nearly won the Australian Grand Prix. 

The Spaniard has already admitted that Honda needs to provide him with a winning bike if he’s to stay long-term, although he remains fully committed to the Japanese manufacturer at this stage.

"I still trust Honda 100 percent," Marquez told DAZN. "It's the brand that has given me all the titles, six in MotoGP, which is no small thing. 

"It's true that we got into a dynamic where I got injured, so the number 1 rider was injured and the manufacturer went a bit off course. But I trust them completely."

"I trust that they will build a good bike and my duty is to prepare as much as possible to then fight for a world championship. 

"That's my goal, Honda's goal and the goal of the whole team, who knows that we all have to pull together if we want to achieve it."

Jorge Lorenzo, who was team-mate to Marquez during his most successful season in MotoGP (2019), recently called Marquez the best rider in MotoGP, still.

It’s a statement which shows just how much respect remains between the former rivals and one that Marquez also addressed. 

Marquez added: "Jorge and I always had great respect for each other, I learned a lot from him. For me he was a benchmark - like Dani Pedrosa, like Valentino Rossi... I could compete against them, beat them, but above all I learned what is most important."