Well put Wosi, Revnuts, Mach73.
When a rider has done more for a sport than anyone else in a way few others are capable of doing, i.e. not just winning, but entertaining, and then coming back for more when he could have walked away, he deserves respect. Others have been spectacularly successful but few have a massive personality as well. I loved watching Doohan - he was a fiercely successful, but he hated the media. Spencer was mercurial and achieved amazing things. But look how quickly he burned out. Lorenzo has grown to be a very likeable chap and his riding is immaculate. Stoner achieved amazing things but hated the media. I could go on an on but you have to go back to Barry Sheene to find such a successful and entertaining personality. We still talk about him now, but he only won three world championships (2xGP and 750 Forumula).
No amount of slo-mo shots of a rider wrestling a bike around a corner is going to give them personality or likeability. Muhammed Ali was great not just because of his boxing prowess but also his hugely entertaining personality. Same goes for Barry Sheene. Who is remebered, Bjorn Borg or John Mackenroe even if he won many less grandslams that the former.
People love to knock those that have had great success, although I think the dislike out there is for his fans. What, do you think if you slag him off enough we'll say "oh yeah, he is an arsehole. D'oh! If only I had realised. No, I'm a Marquez/Crutchlow fan now." ?
Yes, we're all hoping for more showings of his brilliance and its true that after this year Marquez is likely to be a multiple MotoGP champion quite possibly locking Rossi, Pedrosa and Crutchlow out of another world title. I know realistically he wants to add some more wins to his tally and I'll be backing him for that.