Laguna Seca MotoGP winner Marc Marquez has admitted he has started to think about the prospect of becoming the first rookie to win the premier class title since American legend Kenny Roberts in 1978.
A series of impressive performances in winter testing saw the Spaniard spend most of his time playing down sky-high expectations that he could emerge as a serious title threat in his first season at Repsol Honda.
The 20-year-old has since gone about smashing numerous records in his debut season, the latest of which saw him become the youngest rider in history to win back-to-back MotoGP races with a stunning win in his first race at the challenging Laguna Seca track in California.
Marquez now leads the title chase by 16-points over factory Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa after he took a third win in commanding fashion.
A brilliant and daring overtake on Valentino Rossi at the fearsome Corkscrew on lap four, which evoked memories of the Italian’s infamous tussle at the same spot with Casey Stoner back in 2008, was followed up by a last corner move on Stefan Bradl on lap 19 of 32.
From that point on a second win in a week was never in any doubt and having refused to seriously ponder winning the title at the first attempt until now, his view is being altered by his golden run of form.
Asked if was thinking about the title now he leads at the halfway stage, the reigning Moto2 world champion said: “Why not? It will be difficult but I didn’t expect to be in this situation before the start of the season and it is good news.
"At the moment the most important thing is I feel so good on the bike and that is good. It is important to go into the summer break with that feeling and we will see how is the second part of the season.”
Marquez has brilliantly capitalised on the injury misfortune of title rivals Pedrosa and Lorenzo to put himself in the driving seat at the top of the rankings.
While Pedrosa and Lorenzo have bee nursing broken left collarbones, Marquez has been running riot and collecting 50-points.
The former 125GP world champion admits his back-to-back wins in the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca might have been harder to come had Pedrosa and Lorenzo been 100% fit.
Marquez said he is looking forward now to testing himself against the pair are back to full fitness and he added: “I am interested to see how my level is with Dani and Jorge when they are 100% because then I think it will be a little more different.
"In Germany and Laguna we had a big opportunity to win the races and we did and that means we are in a good way.”
For more from the Laguna Seca clash, see the July 24 issue of MCN.