Rossi brought the curtain down on his legendary career at the end of 2021, although the last of his seven MotoGP championships was 12 years earlier.

He earned credit for his remarkably longevity, retiring at 42, although he spent the final year of his career on Yamaha’s satellite machinery.

Valentino Rossi vs Marc Marquez - The Rivalry | MotoGP

An extract from Marquez’s book, via Marca, read: "When is the ideal time to retire? 

“In the last four years I would have liked to be inside Rossi's head. 

“He is a winner. He was stuck between 10th and 15th for four years. 

"And on top of that he leaves the factory team. 

“I would like to know how he managed to come back every weekend under those circumstances."

Of course, it is not too dissimilar to the situation that Marquez now finds himself in.

His sixth and most recent MotoGP championship was as recently as 2019 yet he has spent almost every moment since then injured, sidelined, and struggling on a Honda which lags behind the pace-setters.

"Five years ago I was Superman,” Marquez wrote in his book. 

“I have achieved everything. The next victory, if it comes, I have worked for it. 

“I, Marc, not Superman, for whom everything turns out well.

"If I become champion again, it will be the most important title of my career, by far."

Marquez is one championship behind Rossi’s tally - and equalling it would take their spicy rivalry to a new level.