MotoGP

Rivals will pounce on a distracted Marc Marquez, reckons Wayne Rainey

Marc Marquez is more likely to be distracted by having his brother Alex Marquez in the Repsol Honda team this season, opines Wayne Rainey

Triple 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey predicts Marc Marquez will not benefit from having his brother Alex alongside him in the Repsol Honda MotoGP team this season and expects rivals to seize on the opportunity to unsettle him.

Six-time MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez and Moto2 Champion Alex Marquez will become the first brothers to race in the same team this season after the latter was called up to replace the retired Jorge Lorenzo for the 2020 season.

The move has resulted in substantial speculation about how the two riders will fare working out of the same pit box, with some expecting the more harmonious relationship to help Repsol Honda as a unit.

However, Rainey believes Alex’s fortunes in his rookie season will play on Marc’s mind enough to allow certain rivals to take advantage, most notably Fabio Quartararo, arguably the rider able to get consistently closest to Marquez on raw pace in 2019.

“Fabio Quartararo will definitely challenge Marquez in 2020, but Marc will now have an extra distraction with his brother in the same team,” the 1990, 1991 and 1992 World Champion told German publication Motorsport-Total. “This could play in Fabio’s favour. In my opinion, if he doesn’t have physical problems, he’ll always be able to race for the victory. It’ll be a great duel.

"I wish someone would attack Marc and challenge him. If Alex should defeat Marc at some point, they will hug."

Expanding further on the point, Rainey believes there is pressure on the team too in that if there is an injury or a problem for one brother, it will affect the performance of the other.

“If one brother gets injured, it will affect the other brother. The whole family will be there. The team will be built like a family - two brothers in the premier class of motorcycle racing in what is probably the best team happy to see another driver on the team."

Will Alex Marquez presence distract Marc Marquez?

If nothing else, Marc Marquez is one of sport’s most hyper-focused and dedicated athletes – and not just in the context of MotoGP.

For this reason, one may argue that it is a trait that will prevent him from ever allowing distractions about what is happening on the other side of the garage affect him. By contrast, it could become the inadvertent disruption to his meticulous programme too.

Honda has already made it clear Alex and Marc will operate strictly within their own set-ups to limit the distraction to one another, but it’s inevitable there will be more looking over the shoulder than in previous years.

That said, Marc has been following Alex’s career in the junior ranks for years now without getting too wrapped up in them.

However, at a time when there are precious few soft spots in Marquez’s seemingly impenetrable armour, rivals like Quartrarao, Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso will certainly look for any opportunity to capitalise if there is the merest hint of distraction creeping in.  

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