Andrea Dovizioso says there are reasons to believe that Casey Stoner was more talented than Marc Marquez is, but finds it difficult to choose between the two.
Dovizioso finished runner-up to Marquez in half of the latter’s six MotoGP championship-winning seasons thus far, out of just eight which the Spaniard has entered.
Stoner’s record is a somewhat more modest two premier class titles, but he is the only rider to date to achieve ultimate glory on a Ducati, and retired from racing at just 27 years of age.
According to Dovizioso, a team-mate of the Australian at Repsol Honda in 2011, Stoner was special for more than just his talent alone.
“He was by far the most talented,” declared the Italian on sports streaming network DAZN.
“But beyond the talent, there was also how he managed to squeeze his talent.
“You can’t say Valentino [Rossi] has no talent, but Casey on the first lap, bam! And that was the worst thing for his rivals.
“All his career he did that, he was very good. So, in addition to this talent, it was the way he took advantage of it.”
Stoner and Marquez would never compete head-to-head on the race track, with the latter instead filling the vacancy created by the former’s departure from the factory Honda team.
Dovizioso appeared to lean towards the Australian as the more gifted rider, but suggested it is a close-run thing.
“It’s hard to say if there is a more talented rider than Marc,” said the 15-time premier class grand prix winner.
“Everything he accomplished was done in a way that would lead one to say that Casey was a bit more talented, but I find it hard to say, honestly.
“Marc, for different reasons, he lives his life differently than Casey.
“He didn’t have those disagreements or situations Casey wasn’t comfortable with and has never said that when it’s too much, it’s too much.
“Around him, everything was so much easier, relaxed, calm. And that’s why he has won so many championships and will have a very long career.”
Dovizioso had less favourable remarks about another former team-mate of his, namely Jorge Lorenzo.
While admitting that competing with the Spaniard made him a better rider, he believes that Lorenzo might be bitter due to not being able to beat him in their time together at the Ducati Team.
The three-time premier class champion did win three races in red after struggling in his first season away from Yamaha, but did not come close to bettering Dovizioso over the course of a season.
“He still doesn’t like me, that’s for sure,” observed Dovizioso.
“Especially because he attacks me as soon as he can, and I have never been able to figure out if it’s because he couldn’t get over the fact that for two years he’s always been behind me with the same bike or whatever.
“Having won so many championships, he should be above these things by now, but I noticed that there is something bothering him and I can’t understand his mind, which is a bit peculiar.”
Dovizioso is currently observing a sabbatical after his split from Ducati while Lorenzo is a free agent after Yamaha opted to replace him with Cal Crutchlow as its European test rider.
The Briton’s appointment precipitated some unkind remarks from Lorenzo, who went so far as quipping that Crutchlow would be able to test how tough Yamaha’s bikes are given his propensity for crashing.