This isn’t an entirely new situation. In 1992 Wayne Rainey won his third and final 500cc World Championship, but the first half of the season was dominated by Mick Doohan, who was on course to take his first World Championship until an injury at the Dutch TT put him on the shelf for the next four rounds. Rainey won the title by four points, and it’s easy to say that Doohan would have scored those five extra points needed at any of the four races he missed. But he didn’t, so he wasn’t champion. No-one disputes the fact that Rainey is a three time World Champion. He made it to the end of the year without missing a round, something Doohan didn’t. The Australian made up for the disappointment by winning the next five titles on the bounce.
You can even look at the four-wheel world for similar situations. Would James Hunt have won the 1976 title were it not for Niki Lauda missing two races following his German Grand Prix crash? No. Is his title ever questioned? No. Would Mika Häkkinen have lost the 1999 title to Michael Schumacher had he not broken his leg at Silverstone? Very probably. Is it ever mentioned when you call him a two-time champion? Absolutely not.
One of the most overused phrases in motorsport is “to finish first, first you have to finish”, and Marc Marquez failed to finish, plain and simple. He went off at the same corner twice in one race when all his rivals kept it upright until the chequered flag. Whether or not you can blitz your opponents in terms of race pace means nothing if you can’t get to the finish line.