Marc Márquez completed just five laps of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island—three leading the 23-rider field—so most race viewers may not have noticed that the five-time MotoGP world champion was wearing Mick Doohan's Alpinestars gloves and boots. Not Doohan's actual gloves and boots, mind you, but replicas of the ones the Australian legend wore when he dominated the 500cc class during the mid-to-late 1990s, winning five successive titles before retiring in 1999 due to injury.

Like Márquez, Doohan rode for the factory Repsol Honda squad, albeit aboard variations of the two-stroke NSR500 rather than the current four-stroke RC213V. Now president of Global Jet International, the 53-year-old Gold Coast native still attends a few GPs every year. At Phillip Island, Doohan posed for photos with Márquez and conducted several interviews, one of which emerged in the form of a press release issued by Repsol Honda. Here are highlights from that conversation.

“Everyone wants to make the comparison between [Marc’s] titles and mine because of the number. We’ve both won five titles, all with Repsol and all with Honda. Mine were won many years ago, but it’s nice to be remembered in this way, even if it means a lot of interview requests in addition to other commitments that I already have.

Mick Doohan and Marc Márquez
What was Mick Doohan’s reaction when he learned Marc Márquez was going to wear replicas of his Alpinestars boots and gloves this past weekend at Phillip Island? “It was fantastic,” he said. “He actually asked me for permission to use them, and, of course, I said he could. It’s an honor he thought of me like that for the race in Australia.”Courtesy of Repsol Honda

“This year we have seen a great season of racing, with many riders at the front and a lot of fighting for wins, which has given us races like Assen. There has been a lot of excitement and Márquez has been part of that. He’s an attraction to get you watching MotoGP to see what will happen because you don’t know what will happen right until the last corner.

Doohan
Doohan spent his entire Grand Prix career with Honda. “If I had needed a motivation to change the color of my bike, maybe it would have been time to retire,” he said. “Not everyone will like that, but it’s how I was, and I think it’s good for both parties [Doohan and Márquez] to have a solid association with a single manufacturer.”Courtesy of Repsol Honda

“His riding is impressive; there is no doubt about that. He makes it exciting for everyone watching, including me. But if he didn’t ride like that, he wouldn’t have won those titles. At the same time, it’s what gets the fans glued to the television. I always try to watch the races, including qualifying, and, luckily, I can follow it wherever I am, even on my mobile phone.

“Some say he is too aggressive, but every rider is. When you are always on the limit, sometimes there is not much room for error and, unfortunately, there will be contact. There has always been contact, elbows, and moves that are a little aggressive. But before now not everything was recorded by the television cameras.

Marc Márquez and Mick Doohan
Asked what he believes is Márquez’s best quality, Doohan replied. “I think his determination—his commitment to never give up, his will to compete. It seems Marc has a desire to win that is greater than that of the other riders.” The same could just as easily be said about Doohan during his racing days.Courtesy of Repsol Honda

“I’m sure he would have had no problem on a 500cc bike. The great riders like him, which we saw with Valentino [Rossi] and others, are able to adapt to the bike that they have. The rider, the organic part of the bike, is the thing that usually makes the biggest difference. Marc could win for practically all of the factories.

“Working for Honda was fantastic for me. They gave me a platform that allowed me to win. I didn’t need any extra motivation to continue riding year after year, as long as they guaranteed me their commitment to continue testing the bike, improving it, and bringing me what I wanted.”

“I think that Marc and other riders, like Valentino, go into the race wanting to win no matter where they qualify. It’s the only similarity you can find between someone like me and Marc. I never went into a race thinking, ‘I hope I can finish second.’ The aim was always to win, and if that was not possible, then the next best position.

“Marc is only 25 years old. If he stays healthy and maintains the desire to ride, then, even if he retires at 30, he could win two, three, four, or five more world championships. Statistics are something you don’t think about while competing. If everything continues as it has throughout his career, if he competes, he will do so to win.”