Questioning Marquez's ability 'bullshit' – Mick Doohan

Five-time 500cc title winner Mick Doohan says it is “bullshit” to claim reigning five-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has to win on a bike other than the Honda to be truly considered a great. 

Doohan won all five of his premier class crowns for the factory Honda team between 1994 and 1998, with Marquez matching this in Japan this year when he won his fifth MotoGP title in six years.

Marquez's haul echoes that of Valentino Rossi's, who won his first five titles in his first six seasons in the top class, though doing so on Honda and Yamaha machinery. 

The Spaniard's status as a true great is one constantly debated, with the fact he has enjoyed all of his MotoGP success with one manufacturer a sticking point for some. 

Speaking to motogp.com, Doohan says claims Marquez has to prove himself on rival machinery to truly be considered a great are “bullshit”, while slamming his rivals for not taking advantage of the machinery they have had. 

He said: “That’s bullshit [to believe Marquez has to prove himself on another bike]. 

“If that’s coming from his competition, they already know how strong he is on the bike and off the bike so they’re trying to make themselves look better.

“Unfortunately at any period of time there are only one of two guys, from as long as I can remember, who were dominating and Marc is in that position at the moment. 

“I think many of his rivals who have been in the same position haven’t been able to take advantage of the machinery they’ve got. 

“Marc has been able to put his ability to good use along with the capability of his motorcycle.”

Marquez was rumoured to make a switch to KTM for next season as early as last year's Valencia finale, but opted to remain a Honda rider for at least another two years.

While adamant Marquez has proven his ability as a racer, Doohan firmly believes he could win on a different bike should he ever choose to make a move.

“I think there were seven Hondas on the grid at one point, because everyone said they needed a Honda, but there was still only one winner.,” he added.

“So, I think a rider like Marc is going to make the difference and thankfully with bike racing - ok you need a good machine - but the rider is going to make the difference. 

“I think we’ve seen that in the past when riders change manufacturers, they’re either still strong or they’re not so strong. 

“In the past when you’ve seen guys getting decent results and they change brand because they think they need another bike and their results are the same. 

“I think if Marc was to change to a different manufacturer, whichever you want, he could still win.”