Satellite star Johann Zarco's future is one of the hottest topics in the MotoGP paddock at this weekend's Qatar season opener.

While Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have all signed to remain where they are for 2019-2020, the flying Frenchman is being linked to remaining factory rides at Honda, Suzuki and KTM.

The most interesting rumour is that Zarco could partner Marquez at the official Honda team, with current team-mate Dani Pedrosa still to confirm his plans.

Going head-to-head with reigning four-time world champion Marquez might be daunting for some, but Zarco made clear he wouldn't fear such a move, adding that he sees Repsol Honda as something of a 'dream team'.

"Why be afraid? To be Marquez's team-mate could be a nice thing," said the relaxed 27-year-old.

"And it's kind of a 'dream team', the Repsol Honda team.

"I mean from the time I was watching [MotoGP as a child], I was not watching a lot, but I remember some pictures of Mick Doohan. Then it was Valentino Rossi on the Honda, now Marquez.

"It's always a nice team to see."

With so much interest in his future, when will Zarco decide?

"I need to wait and take it easy. I think, do the first three races and then we will know.

"[The performance of the bike] is an important factor [in the decision] for sure! But then also see which opportunities comes to me.

"I did great tests, but doing great races will make the difference."

Tech3 will switch from Yamaha to KTM machinery next season and, while team boss Herve Poncharal would love to retain Zarco, "I always said, since the 2017 ended, if Johann doesn't get a full factory ride I think there is something wrong in our world."

Zarco, who set the quickest time in the final pre-season test at the Losail Circuit, was tenth fastest (+0.551s) on day one of the grand prix weekend.

"My biggest problem is the rear grip - not for the drive, we don’t have high spinning, but the bike is always sliding a little bit and this makes a problem to turn well.

"We could not find the solution during the two practices, but even with this problem I'm not that far from the top guys.

"We will analyse everything well with the team and tomorrow, even if it's a day session for FP3, we are working to improve and go straight to Qualifying 2."


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