Marquez: Rossi admirable for racing on but I’m not made to race for 15th...

Marc Marquez says he 'isn't made to race for 15th' but thinks it is 'admirable' foe Valentino Rossi has continued racing on despite worsening results.

Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez - Yamaha, Honda.jpg

Marc Marquez says he wouldn’t keep racing in MotoGP if he was circulating in the bottom reaches of the points, saying he isn’t ‘made to race for 15th’ in response to questions concerning one of his bitterest foes in Valentino Rossi.

Rossi heads to what many think will be his last Italian MotoGP at Mugello this weekend following a difficult start to the 2021 MotoGP season, his first with the satellite - albeit factory-supplied - Petronas SRT Yamaha team.

After five races, Rossi has achieved a best finish of just 11th place and is currently 19th in the overall standings but he does have options for next year which may include Yamaha taking up the option on him for 2022 or him joining his own VR46 team, which will run either Yamaha or Ducati machinery next year.

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While Rossi himself isn’t giving much away about his future, the ‘will he, won’t he’ question remains on the lips of many in the paddock - particularly among the Italian press - with Marquez among those to give his take.

When asked what he thought about Rossi’s desire to keep racing more than 20 years after making his 500GP/MotoGP debut, Marquez says he respects his determination but points to his rival’s current results as a reason for why he would have stopped by now.

“His approach is admirable, after all he has achieved, he still wants to race but we have different mentalities. When I can no longer win and fight for the wins, I will stop. I am not made to race for 15th position.”

Relations between Rossi and Marquez, though better than they have been in previous years, have never recovered from an explosive end to the 2014 season in which the Italian accused the Honda man of deliberately trying to help countryman Jorge Lorenzo beat him to the title.

It culminated in the pair colliding in Sepang, with Rossi alleged to have kicked Marquez off his bike though camera angles aren’t definitive.

Either way, the rivalry was also seen as representing a change of the guard since Rossi hasn’t come close to challenging for a title since and Marquez went on to win five-in-a-row thereafter.

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It’s a comment that one could view entirely as it is on face value. Or you may choose to admire it as a sly backhanded compliment right down the line into the corner of the court.

Far be it from us to determine the innocence or pot-stirring of said comments - which it should be pointed out were to Italian media - Marquez suggesting he will quit the sport the moment he loses competitiveness isn’t so surprising. 

This is a rider who has barely ever experienced losing, winning all but one of the seven MotoGP seasons he has competed in, not including last year’s long injury time out.

However, this shines the spotlight firmly back on the Spaniard and his increasingly fraught recovery battle that, while solid from a speed point of view, has been rather punishing when it comes to keeping the Repsol Honda upright.

If recovery remains a problem for Marquez and he is still circulating where he is at the moment come the end of the year, will he put his money where his mouth is?