Marquez is contracted to Repsol Honda for two more seasons - he turns 30 before the new season begins, is recovering from his most serious surgery yet and must battle his own bike as well as younger, hungry rivals.

"Marc wants to continue winning the world championships and now with Honda he cannot,” three-time champion Lorenzo told DAZN. 

"You don't want to ride again" - Marc Marquez talks about his Mandalika crash | MotoGP 2023

“There will come a time when he will have to choose between winning the title or making money, although I don't think Honda will continue to offer him the same contract." 

Lorenzo's comments are a hint that another team might offer Marquez a bike that is more competitive, but a contract which is not as lucrative as Honda's.

Marquez is widely considered the highest-paid rider on the grid but his age and the increasing physical toll of his terrible injuries mean his days at the top are numbered.

A bright conclusion to 2022 - a pole position and a podium finish when it was assumed he wasn’t fully fit - plus his enduring brilliance means that he remains a threat to add to his six premier class championships, even on sub-par machinery, but he can't go on forever.

His brother Alex Marquez has exited Honda for Gresini Racing, a move made more interesting because if it greases the wheels for Marc to join Ducati.

Lorenzo said Ducati will dominate the next few years of MotoGP: "Red, especially with Gigi Dall'Igna."

Alex Criville said to DAZN that the upcoming Marquez documentary makes his opinion clear: "Marc sent a message to Honda saying: 'Either with you or without you'".

In the past year, Marquez and his brother split from long-time manager Emilio Alzamora, who had worked with Marc since he was 12-years-old and overseen his prime years.

While Marc sat out six races to undergo a career-threatening operation, and admitted his doubts that he could ever return, the Honda team were enduring a nightmare year without their star man.

Marc has launched a defence of Alberto Puig, Honda’s team boss, but it is clear that a lot has changed for the six-time MotoGP champion in the past 12 months.

Even more could change in the upcoming year…