Honda is hopeful that rookie sensation Marc Marquez will be able to win ‘several’ races in his first season in MotoGP next year.
Marquez’s arrival in MotoGP is already one of the most anticipated and hyped of the modern era after he won the 125 and Moto2 world titles prior to his 20th birthday.
The hard riding teenager has also impressed in two rain-hit test sessions in Valencia and Sepang on an RC213V machine, as he faces the tough challenge of replacing double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner in Honda’s Repsol-backed official factory squad.
Nobody doubts Marquez’s ability to make an instant impact in his rookie MotoGP campaign when the second 1000cc campaign gets underway in Qatar on April 7.
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto though believes that while it will take time for Marquez to adapt to the RC213V he will ride alongside Dani Pedrosa in 2013 and 2014, the Japanese boss is confident the Spaniard can win races in his debut season.
Nakamoto said: “We believe Marc has very high talent and a bright future. But riding in MotoGP is not easy. To make one good lap time, even a rookie can do. But to continue a good lap time for the whole race is a different story and he needs some experience. But I hope he will be able to win several races, even in his first year. This is our expectation.”
Marquez has been tipped by some on the 2013 MotoGP grid to be a podium contender under the Losail International Circuit floodlights in Qatar next year, but Nakamoto added: “I think for him to be on the podium in Qatar will be very difficult.”
Marquez and the MotoGP grid will be on track when winter testing resumes at the Sepang track in Malaysia in early February.