There's no denying that the French victory was his hardest-fought of the season. Starting from pole, Marquez got a poor start and lost several positions in the opening lap melee, dropping down to 10th.
While watching genius at work is its own reward, it offers little hope of a world title fight this season. Marquez has had no consistent challenger in 2014. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa sits second in the standings, but his fifth place at Le Mans was not encouraging. Rossi is performing brilliantly for a 35-year-old who many had written off as past it last year, but it will probably not be enough to regularly beat Marquez.
And Jorge Lorenzo - the only man who could hold a candle to Marquez last year - is performing well below his own high standards. Sixth in France, well behind team-mate Rossi, is worrying.
Marquez has already opened up a 42 point lead over Pedrosa; Rossi is 44 in arrears, while Lorenzo is a massive 80 points off top.
We're only five races into the season, but Marquez's rivals are already very much on the ropes; if a few more rounds fall to the Catalan rider he'll have them on the canvas.