Jorge Lorenzo's retirement at the end of last season means the MotoGP grid has lost the only rider other than Marc Marquez to win a world title since 2012.

That came during a thrilling and at times controversial 2015 campaign, which also saw Lorenzo's Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi finish ahead of the Repsol Honda rider in the final standings.

But it's the only blip in an otherwise perfect title run by Marquez.

"Obviously Marc is the favourite [this season] because he's the reigning champion and he's won six from seven," Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website. "But he's not unbeatable.

"I did it in 2015. Dovizioso nearly did it in 2017, when nobody expected it. And Fabio [Quartararo] in his rookie season was fighting with him in many races last year.

"That means if Marc and Honda have some issues, some problems, the other riders and factories can beat them."

Marquez and Honda have faced both physical (shoulder surgery) and technical (aerodynamics) issues since the end of last season.

But Lorenzo - left firmly in Marquez's shadow during an injury-littered 2019 season at Repsol Honda - warned it will still be a fearsome task to topple the #93.

"Nobody has won in their rookie season and then gone on to win six from seven," Lorenzo, now a Yamaha test rider, said of Marquez. "He's an unbelievable natural talent and he's ambitious and not afraid to crash.

"But like any sportsman in the world, they have their weak points and it's not only about the rider, it's about the bike.

"I also believe there are other very talented riders in MotoGP. Obviously, it's the highest class in the motorcycling world, so they are the best of the best."

If Marquez can defend his crown during the shortened 2020 campaign he will join Rossi as a seven-time premier-class champion, with only Giacomo Agostini (eight) then having more titles.

 

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