On essentially the same equipment, Pol Espargara beat Marc Marquez straight up … more than once. But that was in Moto2.
The MotoGP rookie Espargaro is not quite as fortunate as Marquez, who received a factory Repsol Honda in his rookie year. Espargaro is aboard a Tech 3 Yamaha, a satellite bike, but he nevertheless is distinguishing himself as a MotoGP rookie. Currently 6th in the championship, Pol (as opposed to his brother Aleix) has six consecutive top 10 finishes after a 7th place at Catalunya. To earn that 7th place, he fought the top factory Ducati rider, Andrea Dovizioso, tooth-and-nail.
Could Pol Espargaro beat Marc Marquez on equal equipment? That question may be answered sooner, rather than later.