There are those who believe Johann Zarco should have been given the vacant Repsol Honda MotoGP seat for 2020, rather than Alex Marquez.

But Aleix Espargaro certainly isn’t one of them.

It might not be officially confirmed, but it's now all-but-certain that Alex will move up from Moto2 to ride alongside brother and reigning champion Marc next season.

They may be the first brothers as MotoGP team-mates, but the sport already has two siblings competing in the premier-class in the form of Aleix, at Aprilia, and younger brother Pol, at KTM, where he was team-mate to Zarco at the start of this year.

"I think the situation with the Marquez brothers is completely different. One is the best rider in history with many titles, Honda is his home and his brother is young, has never been in MotoGP. Pol and me we are a similar level, in similar places, but with different manufacturers in MotoGP," Aleix said.

"If Honda decide to take [Alex] Marquez, I think it's the best decision. I would do the same if I was Honda, because Alexis the Moto2 champion, also Marc will be happy.

"Many people say that Zarco deserves that bike, for me it's not true. For me if Zarco deserves that bike, Pol and me deserve ten times more!

"So I think if finally the Moto2 world champion goes there, more than welcome and I think he deserves it."

One of the factors rumoured to have swayed Honda's decision in favour of Alex is the negative team atmosphere referenced by KTM when they dropped Zarco after Misano, having already agreed to his request to cancel the second year of a factory contract.

"The attitude he showed this year, for me is not a professional attitude," said Aleix, highlighting the tough times he has been through at Aprilia: "The people around me at Aprilia know how many times I cried last year, how many times I cried this year. But this is our job, this is our life.

"A lot of people behind us, with a lot of families, are working very hard. A lot of people are putting a lot of money into these projects. So to stop and say, 'this bike is shit, I go home' - for me, he doesn't deserve to go to the best bike and best team in the world.

"It’s just my opinion."

Zarco believes he acted in a 'gentlemanly' way by informing KTM of his decision as early as possible, allowing the factory plenty of time to prepare alternative 2020 plans, whereas Lorenzo's retirement came on the eve of the season finale.

With the Repsol Honda door closing, Zarco - lucky to escape serious leg injuries in his final LCR appearance in place of Takaaki Nakagami - is now tipped to join Marc VDS as Alex's replacement, where the Frenchman would aim to win a third Moto2 title.

An Avintia Ducati MotoGP race seat appears possible, but Zarco made clear he wasn't prepared to risk a repeat of his KTM unhappiness by joining an unproven team or bike, and would rather return to Moto2.

 

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