Marc Marquez missed out on a seventh successive victory at the MotoGP in Texas, but he remains the man to beat in this season’s championship.
Marquez was leading by almost four seconds when he lost control of his Honda on the ninth lap, allowing Alex Rins to claim a surprise victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas.
The result dropped Marquez to fourth in the standings, nine points behind Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso who finished fourth in the race.
However, the Spaniard is still favourite with many leading Australian betting sites to secure another title victory despite his misfortune in Texas.
The likes of Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Jorge Lorenzo (Honda) will be eager to knock Marquez off his perch, but it’s difficult to imagine him being defeated.
With five world MotoGP titles already under his belt, the 26-year-old is already on his way to establishing himself as one of the best riders in the history of the sport.
His link-up with Repsol Honda has proved to be a match made in heaven, with the combination developing into a dominant force over the past few years.
Legendary Australian rider Mick Doohan previously won five consecutive world titles for the team in the 1990s and plenty of others have triumphed on their machinery.
This season’s RC213V machine is the culmination of a 25-year partnership between Repsol and Honda that has been used to enjoying success.
The team’s 2019 bike has received plenty of upgrades from last season’s version, with a modified chassis designed to enhance rigidity and balance amongst the improvements made.
The four cylinder “V” engine with 1,000 capacity has been built to produce maximum power, while remaining resilient enough to handle the 19-race season.
Manufacturers are limited to just seven engines to cover an entire campaign, meaning reliability must be at the forefront of any equipment they produce.
The RC213V also features Ohlins suspension front and rear, lightweight carbon fibre bodywork to improve aerodynamics, Michelin tyres and Brembo carbon fibre front brakes.
The package appears to be a solid one and leaves the team in good shape to claim a seventh constructor’s championship in the last nine seasons.
For that to happen they will need to see significant improvements from Lorenzo, with the team’s new rider enduring a difficult start to the 2019 season.
Injuries have hindered his progress so far, but the former world champion has the ability to win races for the team once he settles into his new surroundings.
However, Marquez is undoubtedly the star of the show within the Repsol Honda team and another championship success should be on the cards this season.