Marc Marquez insists his once testing relationship with Valentino Rossi is now "professional", but says the fight for top billing in MotoGP makes battles among rivals inevitable.
World champion Marquez and the legendary Rossi were involved in a bitter feud throughout the 2015 season.
Rossi claimed Marquez deliberately tried to cost him the title at the expense of his Spanish compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, and it came to a head when the Italian was accused of kicking the Repsol Honda man off his bike at Segang.
In the two seasons that have followed, there has seemingly been a thawing of the ice between the two, and Marquez – who won a fourth world title in five seasons in 2017 – agrees a more amicable approach between the two is good for the sport.
"With Valentino, since last year at the middle of the season, everything was a bit more normal. The situation was quiet," he told Omnisport.
"That was good for motorsport in general. We have now a professional relationship, as the one I have with many other drivers, most of them.
"At the end of the day, we are all mates, we are all driving bikes, risking our life in the highway.
"But all of us want to be the first ones. We all want the best bike, and we all are trying to give our best at 100 per cent.
"I will always have respect for my rivals, but you cannot forget that they are your rivals, and want to take your place."
Marquez has regularly described Rossi as his idol, but when asked if he had to "kill" his hero to beat him, the Spaniard said it was more a case of learning from the best.
"I don't think [you have to kill your idol]," he added.
"You have to learn the good things from your idol , if you want to beat him. One of the most important things is try to understand the good things, what you have to take, and the others that you don't.
"They are decisions, but at the end, you have to live your own experience. Anyway, it is always good to have a model and try to emulate him, all the good things."
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