Scott Redding said he expected former Moto2 rival Marc Marquez to win races but not the MotoGP world championship in a stellar rookie premier class campaign for the Spaniard.
Marquez stunned the established elite last season by winning six races to become the first rookie since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to win the MotoGP title.
The Repsol Honda rider secured the title by just four-points from compatriot and factory Yamaha rival Jorge Lorenzo after a tense final round decider in Valencia last month.
And like so many in the paddock, Moto2 runner-up Redding said he fully expected Marquez to be competitive in MotoGP, but not a first season title contender.
Redding will move to MotoGP in 2014 to ride a production Honda RC213V in the Italian-based Gresini squad and he told MCN: “I expected him to win races but I didn’t expect him to win the championship. Winning the championship came from the confidence he got from winning races.
"I don’t think he expected to win the championship but he got confidence and he got more into it and then he saw what was achievable, so his confidence just kept building more and more and he got stronger and stronger.”
An impressive feat by Marquez was that in the 16 races he made it to the chequered flag, he didn’t miss a podium once.
But Redding said the former 125 and Moto2 world champion needed to be fast and competitive immediately given the competitive level of the factory Honda RC213V he was riding.
Redding added: “When people said he was going to do nothing and he was going to struggle, I said if I was in his position you are not going to struggle. If I had the factory bike like he had I wouldn’t want to be doing anything less.
"Winning the championship and winning in only his second race is something different, but challenging for the podium in the first race, he has a factory bike and that’s what he’s there to do. If you have the potential to do it, you have to do it. If I was in his situation I’d want to be doing the same.”