Marc VDS team manager Joan Olive is hoping title leader Alex Marquez will remain with the team in Moto2 for 2020.

Competing in his fifth season in the intermediate class, Alex currently leads the standings by eight points from Thomas Luthi after four wins in the last five races (he was taken down by Lorenzo Baldassarri in the other).

Such form has seen Alex once again linked with joining brother Marc in MotoGP next year, but there are now only three seats still to be confirmed for 2020 - Pramac Ducati (Jack Miller), LCR Honda (Takaaki Nakagami) and Avintia Ducati (Tito Rabat).

Of those, only Rabat's ride looks in doubt, with Avintia wanting 'a young kid pushing the bike in a top situation'.

But given Avintia's current form, Marquez may well feel his long-term interests are better served by remaining in Moto2 for one more year, before all the MotoGP seats then become available in 2021.

"As Team Manager, I can't wish anything more than for Alex to continue next year with us," said Joan Olive of Marc VDS. "Today we are finalising discussions with the rider and his manager and hope to hear from them soon."

Olive - who took on the Marc VDS management role this season, following the team's restructuring and withdraw from MotoGP - added that Marquez's long-awaited first victory of the Triumph era at round five felt "like a release. At last we were there. It was like a reaffirmation of our potential and kind of a 'if anyone doubted it, we've arrived'".

"The winter was hard, with many changes at all levels and it was almost like starting from scratch. Things were going well and we were sure that someday the victory would come."

Olive, a nine-time 125cc podium finisher during his own racing career, added: "Among the whole team we have managed to create an environment where Alex feels very comfortable.

"The incorporation of David García, his new chief mechanic, and the great effort made during the pre-season have been key to obtaining good results."

"Alex is living a moment of great maturity. His ability to work and concentrate during a race weekend is really amazing.

"Without a doubt, this year he has taken a step forward to become a firm candidate for the title."

Olive now predicts a possible four-way title fight during the second half of the season.

"It is evident that among the strongest rivals are veteran Tom Lüthi and Augusto Fernandez, who have already won [races] in the World Championship this year. Another opponent to watch out for is Brad Binder, who has taken two consecutive podiums," he said.

Surprise of the season Fernandez is third in the standings, 34 points behind Marquez, with factory KTM star Binder – newly confirmed as joining MotoGP with Tech3 next season - currently only eighth in the standings (-52 points).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Marc VDS garage, team-mate Xavi Vierge is yet to convert practice and qualifying form into a podium finish, some unlucky race day incidents and technical issues combining to leave him only twelfth in the standings.

“Xavi has worked very hard since pre-season to adapt to the team and his new bike. Although luck has not been with him at the beginning of the season, these last two races we have seen a Xavi more prepared and able to fight for the top positions. He's a great rider and I'm sure the podiums will come soon," Olive said.

 

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