Marc Marquez predicts Fabio Quartararo will become a “main contender” for the MotoGP world title next season after being impressed by the rookie’s surge this season.

After Marquez saw off the Petronas Yamaha rider in a last-lap battle at the Thailand MotoGP, in a repeat to their fight for victory at Misano last month, the newly-crowned eight-time world champion believes Quartararo can maintain his momentum into 2020 to become a consistent challenger.

With Quartararo expected to secure a full factory-specification Yamaha M1 next season at the satellite squad, Marquez also made comparisons between the French rider and Jorge Lorenzo during his time at the Iwata-based manufacturer.

“I already said at Misano and a few races ago, Fabio is one of the main contenders for next year,” Quartararo said.

“He is riding the Yamaha in a very good way and he is using all the track all the time, he found a way to keep the corner speed very high, so he has made the difference.”

Marquez has dismissed the idea Quartararo’s threat will act as fresh motivation for him in 2020 and expects multiple challengers next year.

“It is not extra motivation. It is another opponent and every year it will be new names and every year it will be different situations,” he said. “We are in a sport that is not 100% the rider.

“We are lucky that the rider is a little bit more important than the machine but the bike is also very important. Sometimes you can be very good but then the bike is not in the best condition or the opposite, the bike is really good and you are not in the best condition. To find this compromise is so difficult.”