Fernando Alonso's decision to skip the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and compete in the Indianapolis 500 was a topic of discussion as MotoGP prepared for its own American round in Austin this weekend.
"It was a surprise, because it's strange that Alonso doesn't race in Monaco, but I think the situation with the car is difficult and he wants to try something else," said Valentino Rossi.
"It will be very interesting to understand the potential of Alonso in Indy because it is completely another world, especially when you race on an oval.
"In the past, one time, I go with the NASCAR and was very interesting but you understand it is very different compared to a normal track. I think it will be a great challenge, very interesting to follow."
Marquez knows Alonso from their joint PR appearances for Honda, including when the double F1 champion rode some laps on an RCV at Motegi.
"Of course the decision on my side is difficult to understand because also Monaco is one of the tracks that with McLaren he can get a good result," Marquez said. "But you know, in the end I'm inside the same Honda family as him and I don't know about this decision."
Can Alonso win?
"Difficult, but why not," replied Rossi. "Alonso is one of the best, has a great talent and I think also last year a young driver that was a rookie won at Indy."
"For me yes," added Marquez. "But it is a race that is difficult to understand from the outside because you must be really lucky, the slipstreams are really strange. But the talent of Alonso - all the drivers say in F1 he is one of the best. So his talent is there and I think he will be very fast."
Asked what he would choose if did such an event switch, Rossi said: "For me, the 8 Hours of Suzuka is a great race. I there with Honda in 2000 and 2001.
"The 24 hours of Le Mans? The track is too short and 24 hours are too long!"
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