Marquez, younger brother of five-time MotoGP champion Marc, ended a winless streak dating back to Motegi 2017 when he picked up his first win of the season last month at Le Mans.

He followed that up with a second triumph last weekend at Mugello, where he finished a comfortable two seconds ahead of Luca Marini to score successive wins for the first time since his title-winning Moto3 campaign of 2014.

It put him within two points of Luca Baldassarri, who was fourth in Italy, at the head of the standings.

“It was one of those races that you had to be smart,” reflected Marquez, speaking to DAZN.

“I wanted to save the tyre and in Mugello if you go behind [another rider] you can take advantage very well and gain some tenths on the straight without opening up so much the throttle and damaging the tyres.

“It’s what I wanted, to control the race. I honestly did not think I could win with such a distance, there were four or five riders who were very close that could have won.

“I had to do a race like that: wait, control and set the pace. In the end everything went perfectly and in large part it is thanks to the team.”

Marquez began his Moto2 campaign with a disappointing seventh in Qatar, and only scored one podium – with third in Argentina – prior to his Le Mans win.

His Mugello triumph also came after a crash on Friday practice, and the Spaniard credited the work of his Marc VDS team for his recent turnaround.

“They have made me change my mentality, they have made me believe in myself, this was very important,” Marquez added. “We managed free practice better, which is where we work the most. 

“In Mugello, in FP2, we made a mistake for the whole team, but we knew how to turn it around and in qualifying we were very good, and that makes me believe in myself.”

Marquez’s name has been mentioned in connection with a 2020 Pramac Ducati MotoGP ride, albeit only in the event that Jack Miller does not stay with the team.

That appears unlikely now following Danilo Petrucci’s Mugello win, prior to which Miller admitted he would be happy to remain with Pramac if he doesn’t get a Ducati factory promotion.

Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova

Race winner Alex Marquez, Marc VDS Racing

Race winner Alex Marquez, Marc VDS Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images