Repsol has backed the factory Honda team since 1995, winning 15 riders' titles up to and including Marc Marquez’s sixth MotoGP crown in 2019.

But there have been just three race victories since and, with Marquez insisting he is finally back in good physical shape after a fourth arm operation, all eyes are on Honda to improve its RC213V for 2023.

Jove wrote on Twitter: “As I see it… If Marquez and Mir (or even Rins) don't manage to fight for a podium or victory, all the weight of failure will fall on the bike.

Marc Marquez & Joan Mir show off the 2023 Repsol Honda! | MotoGP 2023

“If it doesn't get closer to the level of Ducati and Aprilia, and give their riders some chance of at least being in the top 5, the outlook for Marquez will be worrying.

“Therefore, Repsol, the biggest and oldest sponsor of MotoGP could also lose faith in Honda, its veteran partner for many years.”

Jove feels a realistic target for new team-mate Joan Mir, the 2020 world champion for Suzuki, will be as follows:

“If Marc wins, a top 5 from Mir is more than acceptable. If Marc finishes fifth, a sixth/seventh from Mir would not be a disaster. And of course if he manages to stay ahead [of Marquez] it will be a success.”

But the bigger question for Jove is the long-term relationship between Honda, Repsol and Marquez, “Let's hope for the best, for the good of all and the show.”

The final MotoGP pre-season test takes place at Portimao from March 11-12.

Abro hilo. Hoy la jornada ha tenido 4 protagonistas con 4 objetivos casi nostlgicos. Repsol; buscando rentabilizad su patrocinio como en pocas pasadas! Honda: buscando retomar el domino del motociclismo que antao tuvieron. Marc Mrquez; en busca de su noveno ttulo mundial.

— Ricard Jov (@RicardJove) February 22, 2023