Iannone last competed in MotoGP during the 2019 season before receiving a four-year ban due to breaking an anti-doping rule.

The Italian, who has since been linked with a return in 2024 to WorldSBK, could have multiple options to choose from.

Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki have all been rumoured as potential destinations for the talented 33-year-old, however, that’s as far as it should go according to Marquez in terms of the level of championship Iannone should return to. 

"I had many great battles with Andrea [Iannone]," said Marquez. "I hope that he comes back but MotoGP is not the place to come back after four years. [He can return] maybe in another category."

Marquez was not the only rider to speak about Iannone’s potential return to world championship racing as Francesco Bagnaia and Maverick Vinales also shared their thoughts.

Bagnaia added: "Not easy for sure after four years, but it can be a great fairytale." 

Vinales, who effectively replaced Iannone as their long-term option alongside Aleix Espargaro, feels as though the Italian’s talent can shine through once again.

"For me, he has talent! I don’t think you lose this even after four years out [of racing]. 

"The talent is there. Of course, you struggle to get back up to speed but for me he has talent and he will be fast. I’m quite convinced about that." 

Marquez admits he learnt a lot from favourite MotoGP rival

An eight-time world champion and six-time MotoGP champion in the colours of Repsol Honda, Marquez fought and beat the likes of Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi whilst they were all arguably in their prime.

But one of Marquez’s favourite rivals and the rider that pushed him hardest during most of his titles winning seasons was Andrea Dovizioso, who was inducted into the MotoGP hall of fame on Thursday.

Asked about Dovizioso’s achievement and the memories he has of racing against the former Ducati star, Marquez added: “I’m happy for Andrea [Dovizioso] because he is one of the best opponents that I had a good relationship with. 

"It is difficult to fight against an opponent and have a good relationship at the same time. We fought many times and the best memories I have; honestly, I remember more when he beat me like two times in the last corner in Austria and the last corner at Motegi. 

"I remember more than race because you can learn more than the race where I beat him. I learned a lot from him, especially his mentality."