Marc Marquez has reaffirmed his stance that his future team-mate is solely the decision of Repsol Honda as he assesses what the chosen candidate will face both over the winter and in 2020.

The reigning MotoGP world champion has already outlined Honda’s choices are either opting for a young rider, such as his brother Moto2 world champion Alex Marquez, or an experienced hand with Johann Zarco and Cal Crutchlow favourite options in that category.

While he believes his younger brother is ready to make the step up to MotoGP, he has underlined his unattachment to the decision but has outlined the challenge ahead for any rider who joins Repsol Honda as replacement for the retiring Jorge Lorenzo.

“First of all it is not in my hands. Everybody here in this room knows that Honda is maybe the most difficult bikes for the first year in MotoGP,” Marquez said.

“I already said on Thursday about Honda’s list. First of all it was a surprise for everybody, and now the movements are quite limited for Honda. But on that list is the Moto2 world champion and I know that he can be my team-mate or not but it depends on Honda.

“It also depends if my brother takes the responsibility to achieve the new project because some riders had the opportunity in the past to be HRC riders but they said no because it is big pressure and everybody knows that it is a difficult bike.

“It is in Honda’s hands and I know my brother is proud to be on the list already. He would like to be a MotoGP rider but then they need to find the way. He is not the only rider who can be my team-mate.”

Repsol Honda is expected to make an imminent announcement on Marquez’s new team-mate given the quick turnaround for the start of 2020 preparations which officially begin next Tuesday with a two-day post-race Valencia test.

With Zarco dismissing rumours linking him to a shock Avintia Ducati move, the French rider remains in the frame for the Repsol Honda ride having impressed as stand-in at LCR Honda for the injured Takaaki Nakagami.

Focusing on his own 2020 plans, Marquez says regardless of who is picked as his team-mate it will have zero bearing on him as he targets a ninth world title next year.

“In the end I am professional and maybe my team-mate for next year can be the Moto2 world champion. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s the way,” he said.

“I know there are other riders too and it is not in my hands. Before it was Pedrosa, now Lorenzo, in the future I don’t know but my target will be to win the world championship and do my best on my side of the box it doesn’t matter who is my team-mate.”

Turning attention to his 2020 preparations, the reigning MotoGP world champion has already started trying out test parts, including a new chassis specification, during practice at the Valencia Grand Prix to get a head start of Honda’s winter testing programme.

Yesterday Crutchlow said Honda’s test schedule has been changed by Lorenzo’s surprise retirement call with HRC needing more time with its experienced riders. Only the British rider, Marquez and HRC test rider Stefan Bradl are available with Lorenzo leaving and Nakagami out recovering from shoulder surgery.

Marquez says ‘changes on the bike’ may have been to blame for his FP4 fall at Turn 4 but played down the crash after qualifying in second place for the 2019 finale.

“I was riding not so fast or pushing a lot but when I was in the box we changed the bike,” he said. “When you change the bike in the middle of the practice it is because you try some new things or so different things.

“I arrived there, maybe released the brakes too early and I was using the hard front tyre which was critical but it was a typical crash from Turn 4 at Valencia.”

 

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