MotoGP

Marc Marquez would have defeated Casey Stoner at Honda – Livio Suppo

Ex-Honda MotoGP boss Livio Suppo believes Marc Marquez would have gotten the better of Casey Stoner had they raced together during the 2013 MotoGP season

Who would have prevailed between Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez had they raced together at Repsol Honda? 

It’s a question that has dogged the sport since we were robbed of a showdown between two MotoGP legends, but now former HRC boss Livio Suppo has given his educated opinion, claiming Marquez would have defeated Stoner in a head-to-head.

Stoner retired abruptly from the sport at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season, his exit paving the way for Marquez to join the team and begin a dominant era that has seen him clinch six of the last seven MotoGP world titles.

However, the original plan was for Stoner and Marquez to be paired together at Repsol Honda, raising much speculation ever since over which rider would have emerged on top in what would have surely been an intense inter-team battle.

One person that would arguably know better than most though is Suppo, who oversaw the Repsol Honda operation during that time.

He reckons Marquez would have ultimately gotten the better of his more experienced counterpart because of his ability to bounce back from adversity compared with Stoner. 

Suppo uses the example of Stoner’s brief collapse in the wake of Valentino Rossi’s contentious victory over him in the 2008 Laguna Seca MotoGP as an example of how he’d catch himself out.

"I think Marc would have an advantage, precisely for his ability to overcome difficult moments with positivity,” he told Motosprint. “If Casey had experienced the difficulties in a less anguished way, he would have won more. 

“If in 2008 in Laguna Seca had remained calm, without wanting to show at all costs of being very fast, he could have won the title. 

“On a talent level it would have been great to see them together, and if Casey had not retired at the end of 2012 they would have raced together in Honda.”

Suppo also says he doesn’t believe Marquez has any intention of deviating away from Honda at the end of his current contract. The Spaniard signed a four-year deal that runs until the end of 2024 amid talk he could look to move on to attempt a world title with another team.

“He has just signed a four-year contract, it would mean that his intention was to stay with Honda all his life. If he had wanted to change, this would probably have been the right age. Who knows.”
 

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