Marc Marquez says it isn’t his call who his new team-mate will be at Repsol Honda after Jorge Lorenzo’s shock retirement but believes his team must decide whether to opt for youth or experience when drawing up a shortlist of options.

With Lorenzo making the 11th-hour call to retire from racing at the end of this season, effectively ending his Repsol Honda deal one year early, it opens up a spot at the reigning world champions alongside Marquez for 2020.

Faced with having a third different team-mate in as many seasons, having seen Dani Pedrosa replaced by Lorenzo before he also chose to retire from racing at the end of last year, Marquez remained tight-lipped on who he would prefer on the other side of the Repsol Honda garage but did highlight his team’s current dilemma.

“Now we need to take two different strategies from my point of view,” Marquez said. “Take somebody with more experience or give the opportunity to some young rider. This will be the question mark for Honda.”

The names immediately linked with Lorenzo’s spot at Repsol Honda have been LCR Honda duo Cal Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami along with current stand-in rider Johann Zarco who has impressed on the 2018-specificaiton RC213V filling in for the injured Japanese rider who has undergone shoulder surgery.

While both Crutchlow and Nakagami have existing deals at LCR Honda, Zarco is a free agent having split from Red Bull KTM earlier this year.

Marquez’s brother Alex Marquez, who wrapped up the Moto2 world title at the last round in Malaysia, has also been linked to the race seat but is another that has a 2020 deal having re-signed for Marc VDS and had been expected to defend his intermediate class crown next year.

“This is not my decision and I will never force any decision but now, first of all, it was a surprise for everybody even for Honda and even for our team manager Alberto [Puig] and all Japanese staff,” Marquez said.

“But anyway, about my brother of course he is the champion of Moto2 and he is on the list but it is my work.

“My work is to try to do my best on my side of the box and the work of my brother is to show like he did this year, show that he is working hard and deserves to be in MotoGP in the future.”

With all the big-hitters signed up for 2020, while the majority of young talents also have deals for next season, Honda would need to pull a rider out of contract if it opted against taking Zarco next year.

Whoever Honda selects it is likely to remain a one-year deal with every rider on the current MotoGP grid out of contract at the end of 2020.

 

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