After claiming back-to-back World Championships, Marquez has found the current campaign considerably tougher. After six races Marquez has featured just on the podium just twice, winning in Texas and notching up a second-place finish in Spain.
However, it's not victory in Austin that comes to mind when one thinks of Marquez this season, rather a number of racing errors and a struggle with an under-performing Honda.
Having clearly underlined his talent in years gone by, Marquez certainly has the ability to turn his year around – and his rivals are banking on him getting back into title contention sooner rather than later.
Speaking after Sunday's race at Mugello, Valentino Rossi rubbished suggestions that Marquez can be crossed off the list of title challengers.
“Nobody expected that after six races he is in fifth position in the championship, is a big surprise for everybody,” said the Italian.
“But we speak about Marc Marquez and the factory Honda.
“I think they have some problem now; technical, balance of the bike or something. But they can recover very, very fast, (perhaps) in one week, and come back strong like last year. So is not closed for sure.”
Jorge Lorenzo, the race winner in Italy, expressed similar sentiments to his Yamaha team-mate.
“Lot of champions have recovered more points than Marquez. We have to understand that it’s six races; we still have 12 more, double what we’ve done," he said.
“Anything can happen. We can break engines, we can make mistakes, and Marc can win races like now I did, three in a row.”
For his part, Marquez has looked to remain philosophical about his struggles, taking to Instagram after his crash in Italy to say: "It's a shame after a good start, at least we tried!"