‘Nobody has had the superiority of Marc Marquez at Jerez 2020’

It ended in disaster, but Marc Marquez’s charge through the MotoGP field at Jerez 2020 remains one of the most impressive things Herve Poncharal has witnessed in grand prix racing, "I couldn’t believe my eyes".
Marc Marquez Jerez 2020
Marc Marquez Jerez 2020

Starting his Covid-delayed quest for a seventh MotoGP title in eight years, Marquez took the lead from Maverick Vinales after the opening laps of the July event and looked set to pull away.

But a fast front-end slide at Turn 4, on lap 5, forced Marquez to pull off a huge save, sending him wide through the gravel and down to 16th out of 18 riders.

The comeback that followed saw the Repsol Honda star frequently overtake two riders a lap, reaching third place by lap 20 of 25.

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Only factory Yamaha team-mates Fabio Quartararo and Vinales remained ahead. Quartararo was out of reach, probably, but Vinales was only metres away when Marquez highsided out, with fateful consequences, at Turn 3 on lap 22.

“One of the most amazing performances that I ever saw in my life - and I’ve seen every grand prix since 1985 - was Jerez 2020,” Tech3 boss and IRTA president Herve Poncharal told Crash.net.

“After Marc went into the gravel trap early in the race and returned almost in last, the way he passed everyone - and was even catching Fabio - was incredible.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nobody has ever had that superiority, I think. Even at the time of Freddie [Spencer], when the factory bikes were quite different [to the Independent bikes]. Now the bikes are more even, closer.

“Okay, Marc didn’t finish, and after that amazing race, he's been through unbelievable difficulties. But nobody else has impressed me like that. That was an incredible performance and a show of the level of Marc’s talent.”

Clipped by his bike during the fall, Marquez fractured the humerus bone in his right arm. Complications from the injury would continue to plague the Spaniard until a fourth round of surgery in June last year.

“[Marquez's arm] being back to full fitness is good news for him and the championship,” Poncharal said.

“Marc is one of the top characters, clearly. He's maybe the most famous rider we have on the grid now, also when you think about things like the ‘All In’ series on Amazon.

“I will never rule out Marc for the podium or winning races.”

Marquez - who picked up his latest fracture, to the right hand, when he collided with Miguel Oliveira in the Portimao season-opener - returned to MotoGP action last time at Le Mans, where he fought for a podium in both the Sprint and main race.

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