Beginning the year off the podium at Qatar and then with a DNF in Argentina, Texas was where Marquez first gained some traction, taking his now customary pole and win. That was followed up with a podium at Jerez before what seemed like a disastrous third DNF of the season at Le Mans. After a tough Mugello that saw key rival Andrea Dovizioso take a stunning home win, Marquez then began a podium run until a mechanical issue at Silverstone, but included a win at Sachsenring and Brno. One of those races was a stunning duel at the Red Bull Ring versus Dovizioso, which will be penned into the history books. After Dovizioso won his fourth race of the year at Silverstone, Marquez struck back at Misano – and then again at Aragon. But his Italian rival was far from done, with another jaw-dropping duel lighting the fuse on the rivalry once more in the pouring rain at Motegi – which Dovizioso won.