American legend Freddie Spencer says he is not surprised to see Marc Marquez continue his record-breaking exploits in MotoGP, with the Spaniard unbeaten so far in six races in 2014.
Marquez smashed many records held by Spencer on his way to capturing a historic maiden premier class world title in 2013, including becoming the youngest rider ever to win the MotoGP crown.
Spencer is revered in motorsport for his astonishing double world title success in 1985 when he captured the 250 and 500GP titles in the same season.
But there’s no doubt in his mind that Marquez will smash records galore on his way to becoming one of the sport’s true greats.
Marquez has turned the 2014 MotoGP world championship into a one-man exhibition. Six straight wins from pole position have seen odds on him winning all 18 races shrink and Spencer believes he is destined to put himself up with iconic names like Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.
Spencer, who visited the recent Le Mans round in France, told MCN: “He obviously has incredible talent and what he has been doing is spectacular. It doesn’t surprise me what he is doing and it is great to watch him.
"Every session he goes out you can see he is getting faster and more comfortable. He is certainly a once in a generation rider.”
Assessing what is making Marquez the outstanding rider of the current crop of talent, Spencer said it was how he stands the Repsol Honda RC213V up to accelerate and fire out of a corner that’s giving him a crucial edge.
He added: “He understands completely that the most important thing is to get the bike into a position to accelerate. We are only dealing with inches in being at the right point of the apex to have the bike turned and picked up sooner than anybody else to be able to accelerate.
"That’s his biggest asset. It all comes down to feel and trust. He gets the bike in a position to where he can accelerate and it is impressive. There are all these electronics that people talk about helping the riders but it still requires incredible ability to anticipate what is going to happen. That requires a certain gift and Marc has it.”
Spencer also said an impressive aspect of Marquez’s 2014 domination so far has been the eradication of the mistakes that he made while learning how to handle the more powerful and heavier MotoGP machinery.
Marquez is seen frequently during a weekend saving a crash on his elbow and Spencer added: “I would say one of his greatest abilities is when something does happen, he’s got great ability to recover from it. That takes skill and experience.
"There are certain riders that have this ability to anticipate so well what is going to happen that they make it look easy to be able to recover from it. Last year he had some crashes in practice while he found his comfort zone but this year he has learned from that and that’s what you look for in all the great riders. It’s their ability to raise the level and minimise the mistakes.”
So can he win all 18 races? “If he starts to think about it he probably won’t do it, but anything is possible. He has the right attitude too when you look at how he’s winning all these races in a row.
"The best way to approach that is like he is doing by taking it one session at a time. If you start thinking too far ahead is when mistakes happen and he understands that, “said Spencer.