Mick Doohan believes there’s every chance reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will make history and win all 18 races this season.
The 21-year-old Spaniard notched his 10th straight victory at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Monday morning (AEST), equalling Australian Doohan’s record set in 1997.
He finished 1.8 seconds ahead of Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in fourth.
Marquez now sits on a perfect 250 points on the overall standings after 10 GPs, 89 points clear of Pedrosa in second.
Five-time world champion Doohan said he was surprised his record remained unmatched for so long, especially during the years Rossi won his seven MotoGP titles.
“Rossi had a good crack at it and Marquez, in his current form, is looking like he’s going on to win maybe another 10,” Doohan told AAP on Monday.
“He’s certainly the man of the moment – he’s making the other guys look like amateurs.
“He’s got a teammate on a similar bike, he’s got good rivals on other competitive bikes, but he’s just riding on a different level to everybody.
“There is no doubt there’s every chance he’s going to win all 18 (races this year).”
Doohan still holds the all-time MotoGP record of 12 wins in a season, also set in 1997 en route to his fourth successive title.
But he reckons it’s only a matter of time before Marquez breaks that one, too.
“There was 15 races in the season I did it, so … with eight races left, and on his current form, there’s a good chance he’s going to pick up more than two wins,” he added.
The Queenslander said while Honda clearly had the edge on Yamaha in 2014, Marquez’s mental strength and confidence has proven the real difference.
“What he gets away with is nothing short of spectacular,” Doohan said.
“He’s consistent as well. He doesn’t make a mistake.
“The thing with that is the other guys will lift their level as well. It may not be the next race, but certainly they’ll keep pushing until they try and close the gap, that’s for sure.”
Marquez himself marvelled at his unbeaten start to the year, but admits it won’t be easy to maintain it.
“Every weekend I say, ‘Ok, here is maybe the time to finish second or third. Here will be the time where I struggle’. But every race I feel so strong,” he said.
“The most important thing is that I enjoy it and like we saw on the podium the team enjoys every victory like the first one, which keeps the motivation and concentration.
“But it will be so difficult to win every race.
“Yamaha were close to us here and next is Brno and Silverstone – two tracks where last year we struggled a little bit more and Yamaha is strong.”