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2013-11-11 09:31

CHAMPIONS BOTH: Marc Marquez finished third in Valencia but won the 2013 MotoGP title. INSET: Freddie Spencer leans a 1984 Honda NS500 during Honda's 50th anniversary "Thanks" festival at Twin Ring Motegi on October 4 2013. Images: AFP


LONDON, England - Marc Marquez's first MotoGP title at the tender age of 20 is great news for the profile of the sport, according to Freddie Spencer, the man whose record the Spaniard broke on Sunday as he became the youngest champion.

American Spencer, who won his first premier-class crown in 1983 at 21 for Honda, said he was delighted for Marquez and his Honda team after the rookie from Catalonia held off compatriot and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo of Yamaha in the final race of the season to clinch the title.


Lorenzo won the race, with Marquez coasting home in third behind Spanish team mate Dani Pedrosa, to beat Lorenzo by four points in the standings and delight the thousands of his fans thronging the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste near Valencia on Spain's east coast.

Spencer, 51, told Reuters from Santa Monica, California, where he watched the title showdown: "Marc is very young, very dynamic and a very likeable kid, a good kid. He loves to ride and loves to race and that shows and that bodes well for MotoGP. It's important for our sport to have personalities."

Spencer said it was too early to compare Marquez to Italian great Valentino Rossi, a nine-times World champion in all classes who is now 34 and Lorenzo's team mate at Yamaha.


Rossi's thrilling skills and charisma gained him a huge following and the rider known as "The Doctor", a boyhood hero to Marquez, remains a huge draw and a key part of MotoGP's marketing strategy.

"That's a lot of expectation to put on Marc," Spencer added. "He's won World championships on multiple bikes but to compare their talent? That would be unfair to Marc and to Valentino at this point. I know Marc believes in what he does and he's doing what he should be doing. Only time will tell.

"This is his first step and he has put himself in a position to do great things."

Spencer said he had experienced "a bunch of different emotions" when Marquez beat his record. "I was just happy for him because I know what it feels like," he told Reuters.

Asked if he had jumped from his seat to celebrate when Marquez won he added with a laugh: "Not so much. It's still early morning - and I've only had one cup of coffee."
Read more on:    honda  |  marc marquez  |  valencia  |  motogp

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