The aftermath of reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez's broken arm has been a season of six different race winners (four of them first-time winners) and 13 podium finishers during the eight rounds so far.

A satellite team rider, Fabio Quartararo, currently leads the world championship, which now features three different manufacturers (Yamaha, Suzuki and Ducati) in a top-four covered by 24 points.

What the season might have looked like without Marquez's round one injury is a constant form of debate.

Former team-mate Dani Pedrosa, now KTM's official test rider, acknowledges that winning races would undoubtedly be much harder with Marquez on track.

However, that doesn't mean the rest of this year's unpredictability, which some are associating with the new rear tyre construction, would simply have vanished.

"I think the championship is very competitive in itself because of the level that you see every week; riders are exchanging positions, one weekend fighting for the podium and the next weekend at the same track maybe not," Pedrosa said.

"Of course, without Marc there is more opportunity for some other riders. But at the end Marc is one rider, so if he would always be on the podium - as he usually is - there would still be two other guys on the podium.

"So I think with Marc on track the chance to win is more difficult, but without him the competition [you see] would still be there."

Another former Marquez team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, explained that although Marquez and the 2020 Honda were in a class of their own speed-wise at Jerez, it doesn't mean it would have been that way at all the following races.

"I think at this moment almost all factories can win, only Aprilia didn’t get a podium but they are not so far. But of course I always said that Marc, from winning in his first year in MotoGP, his talent is unbelievable and not only that he has been improving on his weak points each year," said Lorenzo, now a Yamaha test rider.

"In the last few years, he was really, really strong as he demonstrated in Jerez.

"When I was asked before the championship started if Marc will dominate so much this year, I said, 'depends on the bike, on how much the other factories improve and how much the Honda improves'. The Honda is a difficult bike that for the moment only Marc can win with and if the Honda has problems in some tracks it can affect Marc's results.

"We saw a very strong Marc in Jerez, but we don’t know what would have happened at the other tracks.

"Anyway I think without this injury Marc would for sure be fighting for the world title, but of course his injury created a stronger position for a lot of riders that after his crash believed they can win the championship.

"Now the championship is more equal than ever and we see a very good show on the TV."

Looking ahead to the remaining six rounds, starting at Le Mans this weekend, Lorenzo added: "Until the last race there were six or seven riders with real options for fighting for the world title. Now it looks like the strongest ones will be Fabio and Joan [Mir]."

Pedrosa said that he expects the final part of the season to be more 'stable'.

"Every race we have seen a lot of change on the performance of the riders and bikes, but I think from now on it's going to be a little bit more stable," he said. "Maybe from now on we can guess a little more the results. But so far it's been so unpredictable that it's hard to say."

Among the surprises of the season so far have been the two victories for KTM.

"I think KTM is very happy with the progress from last year to this year," Pedrosa said. "The key I think is a little more settled package on the bike and a little more confidence also with the bike for the riders.

"I would say also that the championship is as everybody sees, one race you can be at the top, the next maybe you are struggling. So this also affects the results for everybody but I think so far it's good for KTM, the step that has been made from last year."

Rumours suggest Marquez - who was forced to undergo a second operation on his broken arm after an abandoning an early return at the second Jerez event - might try to ride at the Aragon rounds, following Le Mans.

 

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