Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo ended his career with a below-par year at Honda as Marquez’s teammate.

This season amid Marquez’s latest injury struggles, Lorenzo has suggested his ex-teammate might receive a future offer to go to Ducati.

Honda to switch Rins and Mir? | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 86

“It looks like the romance between Marc and Honda is not the same,” Lorenzo said.

“Something has changed. It isn’t the same.

“Marc was used to winning almost every year with Honda. Now, with almost three years without winning, the love and romance with Honda has finished a little bit.

“Let’s see if they can recover the romance. Or if the relationship will split.

“Only time and results will tell.

“Marc has [given an] ultimatum to Honda. Not only in private, but also he opened up publicly.

“For sure, he needs a reaction from Honda.

“He needs a bike - maybe not the best bike - but one that is at least close to Ducati, who are the best on the grid.”

Since Casey Stoner in 2011, a Honda rider has won seven of the past 12 MotoGP championships - the most recent six, of course, all belonging to Marquez.

But last year was a nightmare for the Japanese manufacturer - in Germany, they failed to score a single point at a premier class race for the first time in 40 years, and despite Marquez’s long injury absence he was still their highest-placed rider in the end-of-year standings.

Marquez made it clear at the beginning of this season that Honda must deliver him a bike capable of fighting for his seventh title, but he has since broken his hand and now sits 80 points behind the championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.

Lorenzo claims Honda make a bike solely to Marquez’s preferences

“Honda are probably the strongest,” Lorenzo said. “They are the team who won the most world titles, the team with the most budget.

“But it’s not always the strongest team who wins. You need to have everything perfect, you need luck sometimes.

“With Marquez, they won many world titles. Because of his talent, his attitude, his physical condition. He is an amazing rider.

“He is a very special rider who needs very special characteristics on the bike.

“They follow completely the way of Marc Marquez. But the way of Marc Marquez is only for Marc Marquez!

“For other riders, it is difficult to get results.

“So, I think 10 or 15 years ago the Honda bike was standard for all riders. Now it is special for Marquez.

“Occasionally, Pol Espargaro last year, or Alex Rins who won in Austin, can do good races but it’s a bike that only Marquez can win the championship on.

“It’s a pity because they have great potential.”

Rins, since joining from Suzuki, expressed dissatisfaction this season that he was being underused in developing Honda’s bike.

Days later, he became the first Honda rider aside from Marquez to win a MotoGP race since 2018.

With Marquez perhaps still unavailable in Le Mans next week, Rins and Joan Mir can further stake their claim to lead the way for Honda.