Marquez is stuck on six MotoGP titles, one behind his bitter enemy Rossi’s tally.

Next year, Marquez will attempt to draw level on seven titles when he switches from Repsol Honda to Gresini Ducati.

He was asked earlier this year by talkSPORT about matching Rossi’s achievement, and he replied: “Valentino was one of the biggest riders, the greatest riders, in MotoGP.

“He is a big legend. Giacomo Agostini is another legend, Mick Doohan another legend.

“All the riders who win a championship are super-riders.

“Some are lucky with injuries, some of them less.

“Some of them managed better, the situation.

“It’s a pleasure already, now, to have my name between these legends.”

“No regrets”: Marc Marquez Interview - EXCLUSIVE

Marquez also told us in an exclusive interview: “At the moment, I'm not thinking about matching that record because I'm far from my level. 

“And I cannot approach next season like, ‘I will try to win the title’. 

“It's already two years that I'm not winning a single race.

“So with that statistic, you cannot approach from one season to the next, ‘Now I will win the championship’. 

“First of all, I need to build the confidence, to build the base and then from that base start to be faster and try to improve in the future.”

Rossi won premier class titles with two manufacturers, Honda then Yamaha, before battling on for 12 years in an unsuccessful attempt to win an eighth.

Marquez’s glory has all come as a Honda rider, but his last title was in 2019 before he dealt with three years blighted with injury and a misfiring bike.

He hopes that a switch to Ducati next year can reinvigorate his hopes.

‘MotoGP was more popular than Formula 1’

Marquez was also asked about whether MotoGP can battle Formula 1 for the right to call itself the most popular motorsport series.

“At this point, we need to be honest,” he said. 

“After the pandemic, MotoGP is working hard to rebuild popularity.

“Now, we are part of this show. We are not in the best moment.

“In 2018 and 2019 we were more popular than Formula 1. Now it is opposite.

“But this is also a competition. They are working hard. I know that Dorna is working hard to rebuild the show on the track.”