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MotoGP’s rising stars must ‘morph’ their style to compete with Marquez, says Colin Edwards

Colin Edwards speaks exclusively to BTSport.com about Marc Marquez’s first 100 MotoGP races and how the championship leader is taking the sport to new places ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez was involved in a final corner battle for victory once again at last weekend’s Czech Grand Prix – a sight we are well accustomed to by now.

The Spaniard may have come up short on this occasion, with Andrea Dovizioso pipping Jorge Lorenzo as Ducati secured a one-two, but still finished on the podium to extend his championship lead.

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Marquez’s leads Valentino Rossi by 49 points in the standings and ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix – exclusively live on BT Sport – we asked Colin Edwards how he reflected on the world champion’s career to date.

The Texas Tornado summed up the number 93’s first 100 races in the sport in just one word – “awesome” – and explained how he is taking the sport to new levels.

“The guy is unbelievable, I don’t know how else to say it but he’s been pretty amazing,” said Edwards.

“He’s crashed a couple too many times or given up a win here or there, but his record is pretty impeccable.”

Earlier in the season the 25-year-old told BT Sport that he was adding new features to his leathers to help him ride closer to the limit – if that’s possible!

Having made numerous spell-binding saves throughout his career, former Honda rider Edwards explains how Marquez is changing what is expected of the sport’s rising stars.

“The younger riders coming into MotoGP are going to have to ride more like him, it’s the only way they’re going to be able to compete,” added the BT Sport pundit.

“Dragging the elbow and saving with it is something I was doing back in 2008 but you still have to get lucky and it’s not a planned thing.

“But being as consistent as Marquez is riding on the raggedy edge and making saves during races, qualifying and sometimes two or three times a session – that part of it is new.

“He’s already prepared for it so if it does happen he’s there and the others are going to have to morph into that.”

As well as the championship leader, another man that will have all eyes on him this weekend is Great Britain’s own Bradley Smith who will be racing at his manufacturers’ home GP on Sunday.

The KTM rider will hope to put in a good display at the Red Bull Ring with his future still up in the air beyond the end of 2018.

But Edwards, who retired from the MotoGP paddock in 2014, does not believe the 27-year-old is auditioning for a ride elsewhere and teams will look beyond what he achieves in the rest of the year.

Smith told BT Sport’s Neil Hodgson in Brno that Rossi had contacted him about being part of Yamaha’s European test team but Edwards – who has himself been a test rider – feels it is too early in the Oxford man’s career to make that switch.

Edwards said: “In my opinion it’s not a good fit because at 27, or 28 next season, it’s a bit early for him to be going for a testing job because it’s kind of boring!

“Although I enjoyed trying to find a tenth here or there and altering the bike set up, it’s fun in that aspect, but to do five, seven or 10 years of testing is a lot of work and a lot of laps.

“I also think test riders don’t get paid enough because you’re still putting yourself at risk if something goes wrong.

“The testing gig is more of a lead into retirement because you’re still fast and can post the lap times with all the knowledge you’ve acquired for racing for years and years.

“I would normally say it’s more of a two or three year job but if that’s all you have then you don’t have much choice.”

Watch the Grand Prix of Austria exclusively live on BT Sport 2 this weekend!

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