Honda boss admits: “2023 results will determine Marquez’s future”

Alberto Puig has dismissed Marc Marquez’s links to Ducati as “rumours” but concedes that Honda’s results this season will determine his star man’s future.
Marc Marquez, Enea Bastianini, Portimao MotoGP test, 11 March
Marc Marquez, Enea Bastianini, Portimao MotoGP test, 11 March

Marquez is entering his 10th MotoGP season and has always been a Honda rider, but the team endured a disastrous 2022 and their competitiveness this season is yet to be proven.

Marquez is contracted for two more seasons but, now aged 30 and with a history of injuries behind him, his window to win a seventh premier class championship is closing and he might look elsewhere if Honda can’t provide him with a winning bike.

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Team manager Puig told El Periodico about suggestions Marquez could move to Ducati: "It's just rumours, Marc has been a Honda rider all his life and he is very grateful to Honda. 

“But we are perfectly aware that if we don't give him a winning bike, we could lose him. 

“The results of this season could condition Marc's decisions in the immediate future.

“I think Marc knows Honda very well and knows we won't stop until they give him the bike he wants and deserves. 

“I don't know when that will happen and whether, when it happens, we will be in time or not to retain Marc. Honda's dream is that he will never leave."


The problems Marquez must overcome this season, ahead of the season-opening Portuguese MotoGP this weekend, are not restricted to his machinery.

He is expected to be fully fit for the first time in three years after a series of major operations, but keeping his physical condition in check is something that Marquez must focus on.

Asked if Marquez must adapt his risky riding style, Puig said: "Marc fell even when he had the best bike, because he only knows how to race and be the best looking for the limit. 

“It is obvious that the body has memory and when you suffer what Marc suffered, you always carry it with you,.

"It doesn't mean it prevents him from being as fast as before, it doesn't mean he's going to be slower, more cautious, less aggressive, it just means, and he's explained it a thousand times in the last few months, that he's a different Marc than before the injury.

"He is 30 years old and knows very well, better than anyone, what to do on the track, when to risk and when not.”

Joan Mir, Marc Marquez, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Joan Mir, Marc Marquez, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

The problem that are outside of Marquez’s control is Honda’s competitiveness. Last season he missed six races yet was still the highest-placed Honda rider in the MotoGP rankings.

He watched and saw the Japanese manufacturer fail to score a single point in a MotoGP race for the first time in 40 years in Germany.

Meanwhile, Ducati won their first title since 2007 and are set to enter 2023 with the best bike on the grid again.

“Ducati and the other two European manufacturers, Aprilia and KTM, have done a better job than ours, they have managed to find the tricks, the secrets, the shortcuts to exploit the technical regulations and get a more competitive bike than ours," Puig said. 

"European manufacturers have been much more reactive, more creative and more aggressive when it comes to designing their bikes. 

“When their rivals triumph, you have to take your hat off to them and congratulate them."

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