UPDATE: The latest rumours suggest Alex Marquez to Repsol, Johann Zarco to join Avintia Ducati...

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is in a difficult position.

On the one hand, he wants younger brother Alex to be given the dream chance as his new Repsol Honda team-mate.

On the other hand, he insists that choosing Jorge Lorenzo's 2020 replacement is entirely down to Honda and won't interfere in the team's decision.

Indeed, Marc refused to explicitly name Alex, when asked who he wants as his future team-mate. But his preference was clear.

"I cannot answer this question, but you can imagine…" Marc replied. "But it's not in my hands and I will never force any situation. This is clear. Honda will decide.

"Honda will decide which kind of strategy, if they will take a rider with more experience or take a young rider and give them the opportunity.

"But for me, I'm already very proud that the Moto2 world champion [Alex] is inside that list [of possible Repsol Honda riders]."

LCR stand-in Johann Zarco is thought to be Alex's main rival for the factory Honda seat, but it's rumoured that Alex could even be on a Repsol Honda as soon as next week's test.

It's also possible that HRC could promote either Cal Crutchlow (unlikely due to his Monster links) or Takaaki Nakagami (currently injured) from LCR, which would in-turn create a vacancy for the likes of Zarco or Alex Marquez at the satellite team.

But given the difficulties Lorenzo has experienced with Honda, would the RCV even be a wise choice for a rookie like Alex, who looked certain to remain in Moto2 with Marc VDS until Lorenzo's departure?

"I think Alex is ready to ride a MotoGP bike," Marc declared. "Then which bike I don’t know. He is a rider that needs his steps and when he passed to Moto2 he struggled a little bit at first, but already in some practices, some races, he was fast.

"This is the first year that he has had everything in the correct place, like for example the technicians, all these things. Of course he's riding good, he's [served] already the Moto2 period for his career from my point of view and now he's looking to deserve or to find a good place in MotoGP.

"Of course the Honda is a difficult bike. But Honda is Honda. HRC is HRC. In the end if you want to be a good rider you need to approach in the best way.

"It's a difficult bike, but this year this bike won 11 races, 17 podiums, so it's not so bad."

The rider that took those 11 wins and 17 podiums was of course Marc. The other Honda riders have a total of just three podiums this season, all by Crutchlow.

Such statistics spell out just how much Honda currently relies on the reigning six-time MotoGP champion and it's no surprise that negotiations have already opened between Marquez and HRC for 2021.

"We start to speak about my new contract with HRC and it’s not news that they will have always have the first option, because I'm like this, they gave to me the opportunity to be a MotoGP rider. And they will have the priority," Marquez said.

"Of course, then I will ask about some aspects, they will ask about some aspects too and we are trying to find the best compromise. But still we have time. At the moment we speak about it of course and first of all I want to concentrate about the technical side, about riding style, about the project. Then try to work on the other aspects that are important too."

Marquez was speaking after finishing third fastest during Friday practice for this weekend's Valencia season finale.

The #93 was outpaced by Yamaha riders Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales over a single lap, with Sepang winner Vinales arguably looking best of all for race pace.

"Maverick is fast, then Fabio is fast, Rins is fast. Maybe these three guys, but then we cannot forget Mir is not bad. But at the moment it looks like Maverick is riding in a very good way," Marquez said.

The good news for Repsol Honda in terms of its teams' title showdown with Ducati was that Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci were only ninth and twelfth quickest.

"It's difficult but not impossible," Marquez said of overturning the two-point advantage held by the Ducati team. "It's not completely in my hands. I will try to do my 100% and try to finish in front and fight for the victory, podium.

"But today the Ducati riders were not so fast. Not in the top positions. So yeah, we will see and try to score 25 points. Then of course Lorenzo is also working to be faster and to go in the top ten."

Lorenzo was 17th fastest at the start of his final MotoGP weekend.

 

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