Marini, who has already made his Honda debut during this morning’s Valencia test, quickly became the favourite when Honda failed to convince Maverick Vinales and Miguel Oliveira to join the factory team.
Marini’s decision to join Honda means leaving behind Ducati who have the most complete package on the grid.
- FIRST LOOK: Marc Marquez on a Ducati, Luca Marini at Honda, Acosta in MotoGP
- Valencia MotoGP test: LIVE UPDATES as Marc Marquez makes Ducati debut
Speaking to MotoGP.com, Repsol Honda Team Manager Alberto Puig gave his thoughts on the Marini signing: “He was the first guy with his group that approached us after the news that Marc went out, so we were approached by them and it’s interesting.
“Honestly, there were not so many options because most riders were more-or-less all settled in their own teams.
“He had the possibility to do it and his progression has been good in the last few years.
“We studied his progression and decided it could be a good option given the circumstances.”
Able to bring experience and data from Ducati, Marini’s addition to Honda could be invaluable, especially with Johann Zarco also joining LCR from Pramac Ducati.
Needing to turn their fortunes around very soon, Puig is looking forward to counting on the Italian’s experience.
Puig said: “It’s very important! The first thing and what is our priority at the moment is to develop our bike.
“We are far from were we have to be and this is clear. Our priority is to make a step in the development of our bike for next season and beyond.
“We are trying to make a new team, a new structure and new organisation that will help this development.”