Marquez crashed in the first grand prix of 2023 causing himself a hand injury which ruled him out of the next three rounds.

The Repsol Honda rider then crashed from third upon his return in Le Mans, so is now 82 points behind Francesco Bagnaia, the factory Ducati rider who leads the MotoGP standings currently.

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"To be the boss of the world championship? At this moment, it is not possible to say because there are too many races and too many points to go, also because of the sprint races,” Tardozzi, the Ducati team manager, told Marca

“Likewise, we need to have respect for a rider like Marc Marquez, because when Marc is back in form, it will be a problem for everyone.

“Therefore, due to the points that are still missing, nothing can be said yet. 

“At least five or six races are needed to understand who will [compete for] the championship. 

“I believe and I hope that Pecco will be one of them.”

Last season Bagnaia overcame a 91-point deficit to edge reigning champion Fabio Quartararo on the final day of the season.

Marquez, 82 points behind, has more opportunity to make up ground than Bagnaia did last year, due to the additional sprint races.

But Tardozzi warned: "In Jerez, Pecco showed that he is number 1 because, you know, last year, everyone said that he had won the championship because Quartararo lost it. 

“But I think that the races he is doing this year are showing that he is number 1, because in all the races he changes his rival, but he always fights. 

“I think this is a confirmation that he deserved the championship last year.”

Bagnaia’s main nemesis remains the unforced mistakes that occasionally creep in.

"It is true that Pecco made two mistakes,” Tardozzi said. 

“In Argentina, in the wet, where it is possible, and in Austin, where, perhaps, he was in too much of a hurry to distance himself from Alex Rins. 

“But when a driver is fast and feels that strong, clearly, these things can happen.”