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Marc Marquez extends Honda MotoGP contract
14 May 2014
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has signed a new MotoGP contract with Honda.
Keeping the record-breaking 21-year-old, winner from pole at all four rounds so far this season, was naturally a priority for Honda and Marquez will now remain with the factory until at least the end of 2016.
Marquez has finished on the podium in 20 of his 22 MotoGP races to date - including ten victories - and is the first rookie champion since 'King' Kenny Roberts in 1978.
"I am very happy to announce my renewal with HRC," said Marquez. "I had always dreamt about being part of the Repsol Honda Team, and thanks to Honda the dream came true a year and a half ago.
"Everything happened very quickly last season, and I would have never imagined that I could achieve what we did. Becoming world champion during my first season was another dream turned into reality.
"It is a great honour to be a part of the Honda family and I'm glad to remain with this special group of people for another two seasons."
Like almost all of the top riders, Marquez was out of contract at the end of this year.
"We are very satisfied to have reached an agreement to keep Marc in the team for a further two seasons," added HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto. "Of course as Honda we wanted to keep Marc in our family and he also wanted to stay with us so... it was natural to renew the contract even if it is very early in the season!
"He is enjoying a fantastic start to 2014 and even though he is still learning, his ability to absorb information and adapt to the machine is remarkable."
Attention will now turn to the second factory RC213V seat, plus the Factory Yamaha rides.
Runner-up in the standings Dani Pedrosa currently partners Marquez, having been at Repsol Honda since his 2006 premier-class debut, but Nakamoto confirmed in the winter that they would also again speak with Yamaha's double world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
However Lorenzo had some harsh words for Marquez during their 2013 title battle - casting doubt on whether Marquez would welcome Lorenzo into the team - and is currently only fifth in the championship after suffering his worst start to a MotoGP season.
As well as Yamaha and Honda, Lorenzo has also been linked with a surprise move to Ducati, while speculation suggests the likes of Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro are on the Suzuki shortlist for its 2015 return.
Seven time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi is currently third and the leading Yamaha rider in the world championship. Rossi planned to decide his future after six rounds, but has already indicated that he feels competitive enough to continue for a further two years. After the Ducati misery, that would almost certainly mean remaining with Yamaha.
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