The 2023 MotoGP season is set to get underway at next weekend’s Portuguese MotoGP, and the Marquez brothers in different manufacturers will be a key theme to watch.

Six-time premier class champion Marc is returning injury-free but still saddled with his Repsol Honda’s limitations, while Alex has left for pastures new and his potential could be unlocked by Gresini Ducati.

Marquez is Running Out Of Time | World domination for Ducati | MotoGP Podcast EP.78

Marc has made clear his expectation that he could be behind as many as seven or eight Ducati bikes in Portimao next weekend.

Asked by Marca if his brother was envious of Ducati’s performance, Alex said: "A bit, yes. And he tells me how well we are doing. 

“But we haven't talked much beyond the healthy [amount] either. 

“I come from there and I know perfectly well what he has and he knows the position which I am now in. 

“Without speaking you see the other person, because we know each other a lot.”

The fascinating subplot to the 2023 season is that Alex could now outpace his illustrious brother, such is the difference in their machinery.

Has Marc asked about for details about Alex’s new bike?

"Not much, because he knows I'm not going to tell him anything and so he doesn't ask anymore,” Alex said.

Ducati bosses have spoken in the winter about their previous interest in acquiring Marc, but explained that at 29-years-old, a tantalising switch is now off the cards.

Still, with his brother Alex now within the Italian ranks, the prospect of the more esteemed Marquez sibling following him out of Honda will only intensify if the Japanese manufacturer gets off to a bad start this year.

Alex said about the idea of Marc on a Ducati: "It would go better and I would be in a very different situation, but you don't know that until you get on the bike. 

“[If he] stays with Honda, it's more entertaining that way, right?"

Alex said about the serious prospect of Marc exiting the team that he is synonymous with: "As of today, no. I can't imagine Marc out of Honda.

“Fulfilling his contract? Yes. He speaks openly in his documentary and tells Honda that, if not with them, he will look [elsewhere], but he will fulfil his contract until 2024. Then we'll see".

Could Alex visualise Marc in the colours of a different team?

"Neither in Ducati nor in KTM or anything, I can't imagine it. 

“Although in the future you never know. If he changes, it's not for money."